Krishna Mahadevan

Krishna Mahadevan

Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry


Research Focus: Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage


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Research Projects

Artificially Evolving Bacteria to Consume Recyclable Feedstocks

“Hello Everyone! I'm Matthew Edghill, a third year Biochemistry Specialist undergrad from Barbados. My research in the Mahadevan Lab involves two distinct metabolic engineering projects: Firstly, I am conducting a long term adaptive laboratory evolution experiment, to optimize a strain of Escherichia coli for ethylene glycol (EG) assimilation. I will then assay the gene expression of this evolved strain to identify which mutations are beneficial for assimilation, and reengineer an optimized strain using this knowledge. Currently, the feedstocks that bacteria consume during bioprocess engineering, require large quantities of resources to produce. However, since EG can be bio-upcycled from plastics like PET, it could be used as an environmentally friendly alternative feedstock. Secondly, I am characterizing multiple engineered fatty acid decarboxylases, to determine the scope of substrates they could catalyse. These enzymes could convert fatty acids to alkenes, which are critical compounds for synthesis in chemical industry, reducing industrial reliance on raw materials from fossil fuels.”

Complete Biosynthesis of Adipic Acid in Pseudomonas Putida

“The goal of my research project is to develop a novel biosynthesis pathway in Pseudomonas putida to convert waste lignin into adipic acid. The proposed process can theoretically produce adipic acid while emitting 60-80% less CO2 equivalents and consuming 20% less energy than conventional methods. My work explores the use of enoate reductase enzymes to synthesize adipic acid from the endogenous muconate pathway, with future aims including enzyme engineering and host development using genetic interventions.”

Sustainable carbon-negative biomining-coupled biofuel production using genetic engineered Acidithiobacillus ferridurans

Jinjin primarily works on a project that harnessing a CRISPR/Cas9 system to genetically engineer Acidithiobacillus ferridurans JAGS for better biomining performance. My proposed project is about utilization of genetic engineered A. ferridurans JAGS in biomining-coupled biofuel production. We believe this research holds the promise to “kill three birds with one stone”: (1) using pyrrhotite (PO, Fe1−xS, x = 0-0.125) tailings as a mineral resource to prevent acid mine drainage production; (2) bioleaching Nickel from PO tailings; (3) fixing CO2 and using energy in PO tailings to produce alkenes. These would generate benefits for economics, environment, and climate, and meet the climate positive energy goals.