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Subcell Biochem. 2014;75:405-26. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-7359-2_20.

Carbonic anhydrases in industrial applications.

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Bioscience Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, USA,


Carbonic anhydrases (CAs) catalyze a fundamental reaction: the reversible hydration and dehydration of carbon dioxide (CO2) and bicarbonate ([Formula: see text]), respectively. Current methods for CO2 capture and sequestration are harsh, expensive, and require prohibitively large energy inputs, effectively negating the purpose of removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Due to CA's activity on CO2 there is increasing interest in using CAs for industrial applications such as carbon sequestration and biofuel production. A lot of work in the last decade has focused on immobilizing CA onto various supports for incorporation into CO2 scrubbing applications or devices. Although the proof of principle has been validated, current CAs being tested do not withstand the harsh industrial conditions. The advent of large-scale genome sequencing projects has resulted in several emerging efforts seeking out novel CAs from a variety of microorganisms, including bacteria, micro-, and macro-algae. CAs are also being investigated for their use in medical applications, such drug delivery systems and artificial lungs. This review also looks at possible downstream uses of captured and sequestered CO2, from using it to enhance oil recovery to incorporating it into useful and financially viable products.

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