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Carbon dioxide-eating enzyme could fight global warming

Carbon dioxide-eating enzyme could fight global warming

Carbon dioxide-eating enzyme could fight global warming
August 9, 2006

A new technology could help fight climate change by letting carbon-dioxide enzymes do the work.

According to Mark Wendman of the UK-based Inquirer a Canadian firm has licensed production rights to an enzyme that scrubs carbon dioxide from smokestacks and other concentrated sources. The byproducts from the CO2 scrubbing process are carbonate and hydrogen gas, which in itself could serve as a fuel source. The technology was developed from an enzyme that enables animals to remove carbon dioxide from their blood during the process of respiration.

Wendman says the technology could be used to help fight the buildup of carbon dioxide — an important greenhouse gas blamed for rising global temperatures — in the atmosphere.

Researchers say that carbon dioxide capturing technologies will be a key component in mitigating climate change. Yesterday, scientists at MIT released a paper suggesting that carbon dioxide injection strategies could store large amounts of the gas in deep-sea sediments.

PDF from CO2 Solution, the firm that is developing the technology in partnership with a team from the University of Laval in Quebec City.


Carbon reinjection strategies to be affected by climate change An Earth System model developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign indicates that the best location to store carbon dioxide in the deep ocean will change with climate change. The direct injection of carbon dioxide deep into the ocean has been suggested as one method to help control rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and mitigate the effects of global warming. But, because the atmosphere interacts with the oceans, the net uptake of carbon dioxide and the oceans’ sequestration capacity could be affected by climate change.

Oil group buries greenhouse gas under sea Norway’s biggest company reckons it has found the key to a green and profitable future by burying greenhouse gases underground. The oil and gas group Statoily operates the world’s only commercial gas platform in the North Sea to separate carbon dioxide (CO2) from gas and reinject it beneath the seabed instead of releasing it to the air. C02 is the main gas targeted by the international 1997 Kyoto pact aimed at cutting emissions of heat-trapping gases blamed for global warming. The pact prompted the European Union to launch the world’s first international emissions trading scheme in 2005. State-controlled Statoil would like to be paid to bury CO2 produced by big fossil-fuel burners in Europe such as steel plants or coal-fired power plants which will have to cap their emissions.

Cellulosic ethanol fuels environmental concerns In recent months, high fuel prices and national security concerns have sparked interest in biofuels. Cellulosic ethanol, which can be derived from virtually any plant matter including farm waste, looks particularly promising. The U.S. Department of Energy projects that cellulosic conversion technology could reduce the cost of producing ethanol by as much as 60 cents per gallon by 2015. Green groups see cellulosic ethanol as a carbon neutral energy source that could be used to fight the build up of atmospheric carbon dioxide responsible for global warming.

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