Turning greenhouse gases into useful resources

A Tartu laboratory brings new hope for a greener future by transforming harmful gases into eco-friendly fuels, materials and chemicals.

There is too much carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere and too much waste piling up in the world. At the same time, the need for sustainable production of fuels and chemicals is growing. These are some of the greatest challenges our planet is facing. It’s clear that we need to stop living in excess, but that’s not the only solution.

Scientists are working hard to tackle the climate crisis with this disruptive technology: gas fermentation.

This technology brings new hope for environmentalists, scientists, and well, the entire humankind. It’s a process where harmful gases like carbon monoxide (CO) or CO2 are converted into natural substances.

It’s about creating something useful out of something seemingly useless and it is believed to change industry and society.

Around the world, a few scientists and companies are experimenting with the idea. For example, the US biotechnology company LanzaTech is turning waste into fuels and chemicals. In Colorado, a beer factory Denver Beer Co is trying to transform CO2 into a commodity that can be sold to cannabis firms, restaurants and tap rooms. The Finnish company Solar Foods is making food out of thin air by converting CO2 and renewable hydrogen into protein.

Estonian scientists are now also working on gas fermentation in a newly established state-of-the-art laboratory at the University of Tartu, in the second largest city of Estonia. The facility was created by the Estonian scientist Kaspar Valgepea, a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Tartu, and it’s so rare in the world that you could count similar laboratories on one hand.


Read the article futher from Research in Estonia web page.

The article was written by Marian Männi and funded by the European Regional Development Fund through Estonian Research Council.