Biologically Catalyzed Carbon Dioxide Mineralization Using Yeast-displayed Enzymes and Proteins

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Biologically Catalyzed Mineralization of Carbon Dioxide
Professor Angela Belcher
Department of Biological Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering, MIT
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Roberto Barbero
Department of Biological Engineering, MIT
Elizabeth Wood
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, MIT
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Christopher Noble
MIT Technology Licensing Officer - Clean and Renewable Energy
Patent Protection

Biologically Catalyzed Mineralization of Carbon Dioxide

US Patent Pending 2013-0045514
Engineered yeast for enhanced CO2 mineralization
Energy and Environmental Science, (2013) 6(2), 660-674


Removing COfrom the emissions of fossil-fueled power plants is critical in the fight against global warming. This invention removes CO2 from flue gas of power plants and converts it to carbonate minerals. A strong COcapture system can be useful for research laboratories, refineries, and fossil-fueled power plants in mitigating CO emissions.

Problem Addressed

This invention mitigates the emission of harmful pollutants by using a biologically-catalyzed COsequestration system to capture and store COfrom the flue gas of power plants to prevent it from being released into the atmosphere.


This invention describes a biologically-catalyzed  CO2 mineralization process that uses yeast-displayed proteins and peptides. The yeast, Saccaramyces cerevisae, is used to manufacture and immobilize proteins and peptides. A biologically-catalyzed approach makes mineral carbonation economically feasible by combining standard temperature and pressure conditions with the low cost of cell-surface-anchored enzymes and peptides. This can be used to enhance the mineralization rate of CO2 and to control the crystal properties of the mineralized CO2. Carbonate minerals have a significantly lower energy state than COand, at least in theory, the mineralization process can be used to produce energy.  This also allows for easy recapture and re-use of the proteins and peptides. This approach provides more exact control over the molecular components in the system, which should aid with system optimization to mineralize the most COpossible.


  • High storage capacity and long storage lifetime
  • Low materials cost
  • Can operate in near-standard conditions