Electro-fermentation (EF) and microbial CO2 electrosynthesis (MES) are emerging interdisciplinary technologies that can produce renewable carboxylic acids.
A newly discovered photo-decarboxylase offers an innovative route for bio-alkane production from carboxylic acids.
The cascading photo/bio/electrochemical system can produce advanced bio-alkanes (C nH 2n+2, n = 2 to 5) from biomass and CO 2.
Systems will require optimisation to reduce economic cost and carbon footprint.
Bioelectrochemical technologies such as electro-fermentation and microbial CO 2 electrosynthesis are emerging interdisciplinary technologies that can produce renewable fuels and chemicals (such as carboxylic acids). The benefits of electrically driven bioprocesses include improved production rate, selectivity, and carbon conversion efficiency. However, the accumulation of products can lead to inhibition of biocatalysts, necessitating further effort in separating products. The recent discovery of a new photoenzyme, capable of converting carboxylic acids to bio-alkanes, has offered an opportunity for system integration, providing a promising approach for simultaneous product separation and valorisation. Combining the strengths of photo/bio/electrochemical catalysis, we discuss an innovative circular cascading system that converts biomass and CO 2 to value-added bio-alkanes (C nH 2n+2, n = 2 to 5) whilst achieving carbon circularity.