Enzymatic Technology for Low-Cost CO2 Capture

J. Carley
CO2 Solutions Inc., CA

Keywords: enzyme carbonic anhydrase carbon dioxide capture CO2 sequestration reuse


Carbon Capture, Sequestration and Utilization (CCSU) is widely viewed as an essential tool for the large-scale reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions as part of overall global efforts to mitigate climate change. However, current post-combustion CO2 capture approaches using solvents are largely uneconomic for commercial deployment . As a solution to this cost challenge, CO2 Solution of Québec City, Québec, Canada is commercializing a patented biotechnological capture approach using the powerful enzyme catalyst carbonic anhydrase (CA). In the process, CA is employed with certain aqueous amines, carbonates and amino acids which have low energies of regeneration, but which are kinetically limited. CA dramatically accelerates the rate of capture of CO2 in these solvents, increasing their kinetics to the level of a conventional monoethanolamine (MEA) process. The result is lower energy consumption combined with suitable absorber equipment sizing and the industrial enablement of more environmentally benign solvents. Results to date have demonstrated that the technology has strong potential as a low-cost carbon capture approach which can be retrofitted into existing gas scrubbing process technology. The presentation will discuss the basis of the technology, development status, pilot testing results achieved for coal-fired power generation, and the North American benefits and application of the process to reduce the carbon footprint of Canadian oil sands production.