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Researchers: Yupo Lin, Richard Doctor, and Seth Snyder from Argonne National Laboratory, Jitendra Shah from Nalco Company

Researchers made breakthroughs in an innovative ARPA-E funded carbon capture technology just as the rise of natural gas, with its low carbon output, sank the carbon capture market. However, developers see potential in overseas markets like coal-heavy China and India, as well as promising applications unrelated to clean energy, such as organic acid production for industrial use.

The researchers used an enzyme found in all living cells as the key to capturing carbon from flue gas, the gas released as exhaust from power plants. The enzyme, called carbonic anhydrase (CA), is found in such places as the human lung where it helps remove carbon dioxide from tissues. Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory and Nalco Company took advantage of the CO2-processing ability of CA for the carbon capture application.

Funded by an ARPA-E grant…

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