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The KetoBrick Platform: Biosynthesis of value-added chemicals from photosynthetic intermediates

  • Project Leaders: Vikramaditya Yadav, Patrick Neill
  • Institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Budget: $330000
  • Program/Competition: GeneSolve
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome British Columbia
  • Fiscal Year: 2018
  • Status: Closed

Emissions from industrial operations account for a significant portion of CO2 emissions in BC, and they also represent an untapped resource that can be monetized using effective carbon conversion platforms. Biological carbon capture and conversion (BC3) is a compelling technology which offers the possibility of converting CO2 into new substances that can be sold, often replacing chemicals made from petroleum.

The current collaborative project between the research laboratory of Professor Vikramaditya G. Yadav at the University of British Columbia and Phytonix Corporation seeks to develop and deploy a robust biosynthetic platform for the synthesis of specialty chemicals from photosynthetic intermediates. The proposed biosynthetic platform, which is labelled as the ‘ketobrick’ platform, employs engineered versions of polyketide synthases (PKS) to produce the molecules of interest. Phytonix aspires to provide diverse products made for waste CO2 emissions, particularly fragrances and flavors.

The project leverages the strengths of both partners and successful translation of the platform to commercial scale will lead to the establishment of a unique, BC-based BC3 process that could achieve the province’s twin goals of decarbonization and economic growth.