YAF Project Next Generation yeast-based Sustainable Aviation Fuels Carbon Investigation Laboratory Footer

The Horizon Europe MSCA-Doctoral Network (DN) YAF “Yeast-based solutions for sustainable Aviation Fuels” will recruit twelve (12) Doctoral Candidates (DCs) to undertake individual research projects (IRPs) for a 36-month period in the field of biotechnology for applications in sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).

Individual Research Projects

Host Institution

IMDEA Energy (Spain) – Supervisor: Dr. Elia Tomás-Pejó

Objectives

Tune the AF conditions of biowastes. Attain the most favourable SCFA profile to be further converted in FA with appropriate chain length for SAF. Screen wild type oleaginous NCY coping with high concentration of SCFAs. Obtain highlytolerant strains to SCFAs by ALE. Optimize the fermentation conditions to attain with high FA content from SCFAs in NCY.

Academic Secondment

DTU (Denmark) – Supervisor: Dr. José Luis Martínez Ruiz

Non-academic Secondment

Nutropy (France) – Supervisor: Dr. M Bendifallah

Host Institution

CIEMAT (Spain) – Supervisor: Dr. María José Negro

Objectives

Determine the most suitable conditions to obtain tailor-made sugar media from biowastes to produce SAF intermediates, Design and assess the best process strategy to optimize NCY growth for the production of SAF intermediates in sugar-rich media. Explore the effectiveness of enzyme treatment to facilitate the extraction of SAF intermediates from NCY.

Academic Secondment

ICL (United Kingdom) – Supervisor: Dr. Rodrigo Ledesma Amaro

Non-academic Secondment

BBEPP (Belgium) – Supervisor: Dr. Evelien Uitterhaegen

Host Institution

ICL (United Kingdom) – Supervisor: Dr. Rodrigo Ledesma Amaro

Objectives

New tools to accelerate the production of SAF Y. lipolytica by: 1) Development of a multiplexed CRISPR-based toolbox which makes strain improvement 2-5 times faster. 2) Use genome-scale models to predict targets for the multiplexed technology to redirect metabolic fluxes toward SAF precursors. 3) Use the toolbox to accumulate either terpenes or FA.

Academic Secondment

TUT (Estonia) – Supervisor: Dr. Petri-Jaan Lahtvee

Non-academic Secondment

Nutropy (France)- Supervisor: Dr. M Bendifallah

Host Institution

ICL (United Kingdom) – Supervisor: Dr. Francesca Ceroni

Objectives

Explore the possibility to change the composition of the SAF made by one single NCY using synthetic microbial communities: 1) Developing strategies to create Y. lipolytica communities based on syntrophy, 2) Engineering syntrophic Y. lipolyitica to produce SAFs and maximise the synthesis of a particular SAF using Golden Gate libraries and CRISPR editing methods, 3) Optimise the performance of the community to maximise the production of SAF with enhanced properties.

Academic Secondment

DTU (Denmark) – Dr. José Luis Martínez Ruiz 

Non-academic Secondment

Nutropy (France) – Supervisor: Dr. M Bendifallah

Host Institution

TUT (Estonia) – Supervisor: Dr. Petri-Jaan Lahtvee

Objectives

Bio-conversion of residual carbon sources into mono-terpenes using R. toruloides. Development of new tools for the metabolic engineering. Establishment of rapid screening of terpene producing strains using (FTIR) platform.

Academic Secondment

IMDEA Energy (Spain) – Supervisor: Dr. Cristina González

Non-academic Secondment

CEPSA (Spain) – Supervisor: Dr. Sabino Armenise

Host Institution

DTU (Denmark) – Supervisor: Dr. José Luis Martínez Ruiz

Objectives

1) Develop efficient D. hansenii strains for biosynthesis and accumulation of SAF precursors using salt-rich residues as feedstock, in open fermentations, thus significantly reducing production costs. 2) Perform a high-throughput screening using advanced robotics of a D. hansenii collection to select strain candidates with an enhanced phenotypic profile in response to salt, 2) Early upstream process design using micro-fermentation systems (BioLector) applying a design of experiment approach and utilizing algal hydrolyzates and sea water as feedstock. 3) Combined transcriptomic + proteomic analysis in the earlier defined cultivation conditions to identify potential gene candidates in the lipid biosynthesis pathway(s) and engineering accordingly to increase the pool of lipid precursors, 4) To assess the production capacity (yields and productivities) in an initial upstream design using highly instrumented lab-scale bioreactors (1 L) and subsequently establishing a suitable fermentation strategy to apply in early scaling-up the process in steel tanks (5 L – 10 L).

Academic Secondment

CIEMAT (Spain)- Supervisor: Dr. David Moreno

Non-academic Secondment

BBEPP (Belgium) – Supervisor: Dr. Evelien Uitterhaegen

Host Institution

ABO (Finland) – Supervisor: Dr. Dmitry MURZIN

Objectives

Conversion of microbial oil into SAF via-one pot selective hydrocracking of FA in a continuous reactor over shaped bodies of bifunctional catalysts. Comparison with two-steps process:(hydro) deoxygenation to alkanes of the diesel range and mild hydrocracking to the jet fuel range hydrocarbons 3) Assessing activity, selectivity and stability of new catalysts.

Academic Secondment

IMDEA Energy (Spain) – Supervisor: Dr. Diego Iribarren

Non-academic Secondment

CEPSA (Spain) – Supervisor: Dr. Sabino Armenise

Host Institution

CEPSA (Spain) – Supervisor: Dr. Sabino Armenise

Objectives

Transformation of biowaste into proper FA using engineered NCY. Conversion of FA into SAF by one-pot catalytic reaction, involving decarboxylation, cracking and proper isomerization reaction lead by novel catalysts.

Academic Secondment

ICL (United Kingdom) – Supervisor: Dr. Rodrigo Ledesma Amaro 

Non-academic Secondment

BBEPP (Belgium) – Supervisor: Dr. Evelien Uitterhaegen

Host Institution

BBEPP (Belgium) – Supervisor: Dr. Evelien Uitterhaegen

Objectives

Get more sustainable and industrially relevant DSP strategies for SAF intermediates recovery. Evaluation different techniques and combinations considering FA/terpenes recovery as well as energy and material requirements. Benchmarking of the green solvents against current commonly used extraction systems. Study the possibility of solvent recycling to allow the development of an industrially feasible process. Tuning of DSP and evaluation through a preliminary techno-economic analysis (TEA) and from an environmental point of view.

Academic Secondment

IMDEA Energy (Spain) – Supervisor: Dr. Diego Iribarren

Non-academic Secondment

CEPSA (Spain) – Supervisor: Dr. Sabino Armenise

Host Institution

IMDEA Energy (Spain) – Supervisor: Dr. Diego Iribarren

Objectives

Evaluate the feasibility of different pathways converting biowastes into SAF, hence contributing to support decision-making processes in the field. Develop adaptative models of the different conversion routes, aligned with the scope of the YAF network, and integrate them in a process simulation; Perform environmental LCA, LCSA, TEA of the considered systems; Optimize the considered systems based on sustainability results. Interpret the results from a sustainability perspective and benchmark them with alternative systems.

Academic Secondment

ABO (Finland) – Supervisor: Dr. Dmitry Murzin

Non-academic Secondment

BBEPP (Belgium) – Supervisor: Dr. Evelien Uitterhaegen

Host Institution

TUT (Estonia) – Supervisor: Dr. P-J. Lathvee

Objectives

Enzyme design towards more efficient production of mono-terpenes used in SAFs. Development of bioinformatics tools for enzyme design. Automatization of metabolic engineering and enzyme design and engineering.

Academic Secondment

ICL (United Kingdom) -Supervisor: Dr. Rodrigo Ledesma Amaro

Non-academic Secondment

Nutropy (France) – Supervisor: Dr. M Bendifallah

Host Institution

DTU (Denmark) – Supervisor: Dr. José Luis Martínez Ruiz

Objectives

Academic Secondment

To identify and further optimize alternative yeasts from different international strain collections, capable of utilizing SCFAs and/or methanol as feedstock for the bioaccumulation of lipid precursors to be further converted in SAF. Focus in halotolerant/halophilic yeasts capable of withstand higher salt concentrations while utilizing these alternative carbon sources, then using advanced ALE methodologies in mili-scale parallel automated bioreactors to optimize cell performance and later on introduce recombinant biosynthetic pathways to favour the accumulation of lipid precursors, based on the other oleaginous yeasts utilized in this project (Yarrowia, Rhodotorula and Debaryomyces).

IMDEA Energy (Spain) – Supervisor: Dr. Elia Tomás-Pejó

Non-academic Secondment

CEPSA (Spain) – Supervisor: Dr. Sabino Armenise

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