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Carboxysome-Inspired Electrocatalysis using Enzymes for the Reduction of CO2 at Low Concentrations.

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Cobb, Samuel J 
Dharani, Azim M 
Oliveira, Ana Rita 
Pereira, Inês AC 


The electrolysis of dilute CO2 streams suffers from low concentrations of dissolved substrate and its rapid depletion at the electrolyte-electrocatalyst interface. These limitations require first energy-intensive CO2 capture and concentration, before electrolyzers can achieve acceptable performances. For direct electrocatalytic CO2 reduction from low-concentration sources, we introduce a strategy that mimics the carboxysome in cyanobacteria by utilizing microcompartments with nanoconfined enzymes in a porous electrode. A carbonic anhydrase accelerates CO2 hydration kinetics and minimizes substrate depletion by making all dissolved carbon available for utilization, while a highly efficient formate dehydrogenase reduces CO2 cleanly to formate; down to even atmospheric concentrations of CO2 . This bio-inspired concept demonstrates that the carboxysome provides a viable blueprint for the reduction of low-concentration CO2 streams to chemicals by using all forms of dissolved carbon.



Carbon Dioxide Reduction, Electrochemistry, Enzyme Catalysis, Metalloenzymes, Protein Film Electrochemistry, Carbon Dioxide, Cyanobacteria, Carbonic Anhydrases, Organelles, Carbon

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Angew Chem Int Ed Engl

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European Research Council (682833)