Two-stage bioconversion of carbon monoxide to biopolymers via formate as an intermediate

Ho Won Hwang, Jihee Yoon, Kyoungseon Min, Min Sik Kim, Seung Jin Kim, Dae Haeng Cho, Hadiyati Susila, Jeong Geol Na, Min Kyu Oh, Yong Hwan Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Numerous industries discharge substantial amounts of carbon monoxide (CO) into the atmosphere as waste; utilizing CO-containing industrial waste gases to produce useful organic chemicals has recently attracted attention. Here, we constructed a two-stage biocatalytic CO-conversion system for producing poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB), a promising degradable biopolymer. In the first stage, Acetobacterium woodii, an acetogenic bacterial strain containing CO dehydrogenase (CODH) and formate dehydrogenase (FDH), was used as a whole-cell biocatalyst to transform CO into formate independent of an external reducing agent, such as H2. The conversion yield and specificity were close to 100% when the strain's energy metabolism was blocked to suppress acetate production. The resulting formate was fed to a second bioreactor, where it was converted to PHB by engineered Methylbacterium extorquens AM1. The two-stage bioconversion of CO to a valuable product via formate as an intermediate offers a novel and promising strategy for CO utilization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124394
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun 1


  • Biopolymer
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Formate
  • Poly-3-hydroxybutyrate
  • Two-stage bioconversion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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