Repository logo

Uncovering the Dynamics of Urease and Carbonic Anhydrase Genes in Ureolysis, Carbon Dioxide Hydration, and Calcium Carbonate Precipitation.

Accepted version



Change log



The hydration of CO2 suffers from kinetic inefficiencies that make its natural trapping impractically sluggish. However, CO2-fixing carbonic anhydrases (CAs) remarkably accelerate its equilibration by 6 orders of magnitude and are, therefore, "ideal" catalysts. Notably, CA has been detected in ureolytic bacteria, suggesting its potential involvement in microbially induced carbonate precipitation (MICP), yet the dynamics of the urease (Ur) and CA genes remain poorly understood. Here, through the use of the ureolytic bacteriumSporosarcina pasteurii, we investigate the differing role of Ur and CA in ureolysis, CO2 hydration, and CaCO3 precipitation with increasing CO2(g) concentrations. We show that Ur gene up-regulation coincides with an increase in [HCO3-] following the hydration of CO2 to HCO3- by CA. Hence, CA physiologically promotes buffering, which enhances solubility trapping and affects the phase of the CaCO3 mineral formed. Understanding the role of CO2 hydration on the performance of ureolysis and CaCO3 precipitation provides essential new insights, required for the development of next-generation biocatalyzed CO2 trapping technologies.



CO2 sequestration, climate change, microbial metabolism, microbially induced calcium carbonate precipitation, Carbon Dioxide, Calcium Carbonate, Urease, Carbonic Anhydrases, Urea, Chemical Precipitation

Journal Title

Environ Sci Technol

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title


American Chemical Society (ACS)