Lehigh Cement and Oakbio Inc of Sunnyvale are conducting research that both parties hope can lead to a green partnership. Oakbio plans to capture carbon dioxide from cement manufacturing and feed it to hand-picked microbes that researches say will produce by-products that can be sold commercially.
Flue gas at the Lehigh facility can be pumped into a container housing the microbes rather than into the atmosphere. Those microbes will use that gas as their sole carbon source and produce a by-product that Oakbio CEO Russell Howard called a "cabernet." The microbes also need a source of hydrogen that will require energy to produce.