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New sustainable fertilizer production research collaboration underway

A new interdisciplinary research collaboration between the U.S.’s North Carolina State University (NC State) and the Technical University of Denmark (Danmarks Tekniske Universitet, DTU) aims to uncover new biology-based methods for CO2 management and sustainable fertilizer production.

The project, called the Biocatalyst Interactions with Gases (BIG) Collaboration, is funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation (NNF). Led by NC State, the collaboration team will receive 50 million Danish Kroner (DKK), or approximately USD$6.5 million, in funding over five years.

The project team will investigate and create new types of biological catalyst systems that are capable of carrying out fundamental chemical reactions required within two critical research areas: CO2 management for greenhouse gas reduction and nitrogen fixation for fertilizer production.

The BIG Collaboration will be led by Wilson College of Textiles Associate Professor Sonja Salmon. Salmon, a two-time graduate of NC State, earned her Ph.D. in fiber and polymer science and a bachelor’s degree in textile chemistry. She is a recognized expert on carbon capture science and technology, with more than two decades of industry research experience.

“Fundamental insights generated by our BIG Collaboration will lead to advanced bio-based solutions,” said Salmon. “Working closely with our partners at DTU and NNF, this interdisciplinary initiative will help solve global challenges to nourish and sustain our future.”

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