(485e) Low-Cost CO2 Capture Using Enzyme Catalysis

Nguyen, L., Codexis, Inc.
Lalonde, J., Codexis, Inc.

Current CO2 capture approaches for fossil power plants using solvents give rise to unacceptably high energy losses during regeneration of these solvents.  Codexis  and CO2 Solution are jointly developing a technology using the enzyme carbonic anhydrase (CA) that has the potential to allow the economical capture of CO2 by accelerating the kinetics of solvents with low regeneration.  CA has a natural ability to catalyze CO2 hydration at the rates up to 106 molecules per second.  In proof of concept lab studies, CA has been shown to accelerate CO2 hydration in energy efficient but kinetically slow solvents, such as MDEA.  CA thus has the potential to provide low-cost capture processes.

Codexis is an innovator in the directed evolution of enzymes for industrial processes and has twice received the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for development of cleaner, greener pharmaceutical manufacturing processes using optimized enzymes.  In 2010, the Department of Energy awarded Codexis $4.7 M under its ARPA-E program to pursue the directed evolution of CA’s capable of high activity and stability in carbon capture solvents.  CO2 Solution has been an innovator in the use of CA with CO2 capture solvents for the past several years and holds issued patents in this field.  The presentation will discuss the basis of the technology, initial results and the opportunity to use CA to improve the economics of CO2 capture.