Animation created to explain Gas Fermentation
With the wealth of experience built up over years of talking to the talking to the general public and school children about gas fermentation, it was decided that the development of a short, simple animation was the way forward. This would ensure our message was delivered consistently, concisely and engagingly, and had the potential to reach a bigger audience through the website and social media. The project was initiated in January 2019, with the engagement of Senate Media (https://www.senatemedia.co.uk/).
The script and story board were crafted, then reviewed by expert scientists for accuracy and social scientists for social responsibility, then tested on lay audiences to ensure accessibility to all: young, old, lay, expert, hearing and deaf. Two minutes of animation were 3 months in the making, but with tweaks made, the final product was launched in April and now has a permanent home on the front page of CCnet website https://ccnet-nibb.co.uk/ and at the SBRC website https://sbrc-nottingham.ac.uk/
The animation has proved to be a big success, to date it has been used to acclaim at home and abroad. It premiered at the 2019 Brasil-UK workshop “Sustainable Chemicals and Fuels through Synthetic Biology” in CNPEM, Campinas, Brazil, 28-30 May 2019; featured at “Wonder” at University of Nottingham, 15 June 2019 and was aired at SynbioTech 2019, QEII Centre, London, 24-25 June 2019 https://www.synbitech.com/ . Future touring is planned e.g. it will take pride of place at New Scientist Live, Excel Centre London, https://live.newscientist.com 10-13 October 2019. Online views currently number 75, with viewings not only in the UK, but also in Europe (Denmark, Belgium and Slovenia) and the rest of the world (India, Brazil and Australia)
The Animation Message:
Current energy and chemical needs are largely met by the extraction and processing of the fossil fuels oil, gas and coal. Such resources are limited and their use causes environmental pollution and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions which can lead to climate change. The challenge facing humankind is, therefore, to identify new, affordable, sustainable and cleaner processes for chemical and energy generation.
Research at SBRC Nottingham focuses on optimising gas fermentation by certain microbes that are able to grow on C1 gases, such as carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), that may be derived from non-food sources such as waste gases from industry as well as ‘synthesis gas’ (CO & H2) produced from domestic and agricultural wastes and “biogas” (CH4 and CO2) from anaerobic digestion. The microbes utilise these gases as a carbon source to produce simple carbon molecules which can be converted into an array of more complicated carbon molecules. This enables low carbon fuels, chemicals and even animal feed to be produced without using fossil fuels.