Project Title: Carbon Fixation and Recycling Via Microbial Mats
Student: Jordan Brown
Mentor: Dr. David Markwardt
This is a proposed method for reducing and recycling CO2 emissions using microbes. The central concept is the application of designed microbial mats in order to fix CO2 gas emitted by factories and other buildings. Once fixed, this carbon can be biologically converted to simple sugars and other inputs for the growing field of metabolic engineering. When used in conjunction with these technologies, CO2 emissions can not only be reduced, but also converted into valuable products for medicine, energy, and cosmetics industries etc. Ubiquitous in nature, these mats are able to grow on a variety of surfaces and can withstand extreme conditions making them an ideal platform for bioremediation of emissions. There has been a good deal of research in using synthetic microbial mats to accomplish tasks varying from remediating petroleum contamination and aquaculture waste to the terraforming of Mars. There is little research into its application in reducing CO2 waste. This poster describes current methods using microbial mats and proposes novel ways in which mats may be used to limit release of CO2 into the atmosphere and instead incorporate waste carbon into useful products.