Representative Subtheme Challenge:

CCS-01: Creating Value from Waste Carbon for a Circular Bioeconomy

Imagine a day where your morning coffee comes in a cup made from materials that are harvested sustainably and processed through revolutionary bio-manufacturing techniques. Your commute is powered by clean, bio-based fuels, significantly reducing environmental impact. This future seamlessly integrates advances in biotechnology, recycling carbon waste, and sustainable agriculture. It's a world where innovation has not just created eco-friendly products but also spurred economic growth and solidified global environmental leadership through sustained R&D marrying environmental sustainability with technological innovation.

In an era marked by environmental challenges and the imperative to transition towards sustainable practices, the concept of deriving value from waste carbon has emerged as a pivotal paradigm for fostering a Circular Bioeconomy. This holistic approach envisions a transformative cycle where waste carbon becomes a valuable resource. The integration of innovative technologies and sustainable methodologies opens up avenues for generating fuels, producing food, and creating sustainable materials, thereby forging a path towards a more resilient and regenerative future. This exploration into the realms of circular bioeconomy promises not only to address pressing environmental concerns but also to redefine the way we perceive and utilize carbon, turning it into a cornerstone for a more sustainable and interconnected world.

CASA-Bio stakeholders representing government, industry, and non-profit sectors, identified areas of mutual interest where concerted effort among them may lead more quickly to the realization of the envisioned future. These are a few of their ideas. Research should include improvements in sustainability of carbon sources, new methods for carbon capture, better transportation logistics, and new technologies for bioconversion platforms and scaling for desirable materials, food, and fuel. Cost-effectiveness must be an overarching consideration, especially via optimizing feedstock cost by identifying high-value renewable end products and scaling these solutions from pre-commercial to commercial levels. R&D efforts should also include specific areas like microbial engineering for waste gas conversion, biomass deconstruction, and biological upgrading. We emphasize that this list is not comprehensive; we need you to help us think deeper within this subtheme!

As a member of the R&D community, you too are a CASA-Bio stakeholder, and providing your insight on R&D projects that undergird this sub-theme and lead to solutions is critical. Your ideas will matter! Your individual project ideas and those developed as part of the collaborative Town Hall process will be combined to produce an aggregate view. This view will help us understand not only the interests of the R&D community, but also what they are willing to do to advance the bioeconomy. Topics among the R&D project ideas we receive will help government, industry, and non-profit stakeholders see the potential of the US R&D community to address critical future needs and help define topics for future exploration through workshops and roadmapping.

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CASA-Bio is based upon work supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation under Contract No. 49100423P0058. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. National Science Foundation.
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