Cyanobacteria: The Future of Carbon Capture Utilization?

22853137_646817742372381_8774746920097135614_nSustainability issue: Energy, Waste

Many cities have industrial hubs that generate significant CO2 emissions and pollute the urban environment. As we know, these CO2 emissions also contribute to climate change. Finding a sink for these emissions is extremely important for cities to address climate change and urban pollution.


  • Photosynthetic Magic is a bacterial cell factory project that aims to leverage biotechnology to capture, store and re-use CO2 outputs. Cyanobacteria can take up CO2 from the atmosphere and directly convert it into useful products.
  • More specifically, the Photosynthetic Magic team genetically modifies the bacteria to make them produce a valuable compound called fumarate.
  • Fumarate can be used for numerous applications, including; a progenitor for biofuels, food additives and medicine.
  • The team includes six students from Amsterdam, who are overseen by two professors. They also receive IT support from a Syrian refugee that is developing their website.

Article title: Your pollutant is our resource
Website name: Amsterdam Smart City
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Company website link:


  • Universities
  • City government
  • Industries
  • Biofuel users
  • Companies that use food additives
  • Pharmaceuticals


  1. Scale up the project by exploring its deployment and implementation in industry. In order to do this, the first step will be to establish partnerships around Amsterdam.
  2. Once partnerships are in place, quantify demand, production costs and design costs and begin deploying the technology.
  3. Work with other European innovation hubs and smart city programs to expand the deployment of the technology.

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