Carbon dioxide could be taken out of power station emissions and made into useful biomass products with the help of tiny “designer” micro-organisms.
This is according to the first stages of €2million worth of research by biotech company BRAIN AG and German energy firm RWE, the parent company of UK supplier npower.
The researchers have created special micro-organisms (pictured) which “feed” on CO2-containing flue gases from lignite-fired power stations, such as the Niederaussem plant in Germany. Eventually these micro-organisms could be used to convert CO2 into biomass or secondary raw materials, say the scientists.
Dr Jürgen Eck, BRAIN’s chief scientific officer said: “We seek to make a lasting contribution when it comes to utilising CO2 in an industrially scalable system.”
The exciting “milestone” development could be good news for efforts against climate change.