Could human blood unlock carbon capture technology?
As cells pump CO2 produced during respiration into the blood, the enzyme carbonic anhydrase converts the gas into bicarbonate for easier transport to the lungs. There the same enzyme works in reverse, turning the molecules back into the CO2 gas you exhale. This action could play the critical role of selectively capturing CO2 from mixed gas emissions for later sequestration.
Carbozyme has created a system made up of millions of microscale, porous tubes coated with a synthetic version of the enzyme. The idea is that as smokestack gases pass through the tubes, the enzyme pulls CO2 from the mix and transforms it into bicarbonate and back. This CO2 can then be pumped underground and stored in layers of basalt rock. The process reportedly uses a third less energy than competing CO2 sequestration methods.