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ISRN Chemical Engineering
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 753687, 22 pages
Review Article

Enzymatic Carbon Dioxide Capture

Institut de Recherches sur la Catalyse et L’environnement de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 CNRS, UMR 5256, 2 Avenue Albert Einstein, 69626 Villeurbanne, France

Received 8 October 2012; Accepted 31 October 2012

Academic Editors: P. V. Bonnesen and N. Kakuta

Copyright © 2012 Alain C. Pierre. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In the past decade, the capture of anthropic carbonic dioxide and its storage or transformation have emerged as major tasks to achieve, in order to control the increasing atmospheric temperature of our planet. One possibility rests on the use of carbonic anhydrase enzymes, which have been long known to accelerate the hydration of neutral aqueous CO2 molecules to ionic bicarbonate species. In this paper, the principle underlying the use of these enzymes is summarized. Their main characteristics, including their structure and catalysis kinetics, are presented. A special section is next devoted to the main types of CO2 capture reactors under development, to possibly use these enzymes industrially. Finally, the possible application of carbonic anhydrases to directly store the captured CO2 as inert solid carbonates deserves a review presented in a final section.