BIOMEK is a collaborative project between the Institute of Chemical Engineerings Sciences, Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH/ICE-HT), located in Patras, Greece and the Testing Research and Standards Center, of the Public Power Corporation of Greece (PPC S.A.), located in Athens, Greece, co‐financed by the European Union and Greek national funds through the Operational Program Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, under the call RESEARCH – CREATE - INNOVATE (project code:Τ1EDK-00279).
A major issue of PPC S.A. is the cost paid for CO2 emission rights from its lignitic plants; according the most recently published report, these expenses accounted for 20% of the total cost of its lignite-based electric power generation, and is expected to increase drastically in the next years. Thus, PPC needs to develop and adopt an effective integrated plan for CO2 emission decrease in its lignite power plants. In BIOMEK, we propose to investigate as possible solution to this issue the valorization of CO2 emissions through their non-photosynthetic biotransformation to fine chemicals or biofuels via fermentation of metabolically engineered extremophile microbes. This transformation can turn CO2 emissions into a useful byproduct of the lignite-based electric power generation, if their added value can be higher than the cost of their capture and processing. In that case, the proposed process will provide a financially, environmentally and developmentally beneficial solution of the PPC CO2 emission problem.