Enzymatic Technology for Low-Cost Carbon Dioxide Capture

J. Carley, J. Lalonde
CO2 Solutions Inc., CA

Keywords: enzyme carbon capture carbonic anhydrase CO2

Summary:

Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) 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. As a solution, Codexis of Redwood City, California and CO2 Solutions of Québec, Canada are commercializing a patented biotechnological CO2 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. The CA technology dramatically accelerates the rate of capture of CO2 in these solvents. The result is lower energy consumption combined with suitable absorber equipment sizing. 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 technology is currently entering the pilot testing phase in the areas of coal-fired power generation, alumina production, oil & gas production and cement manufacturing, with this work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy. The presentation will discuss the basis of the technology, development results to date and details of pilot testing programs.