This is not about poisoning the human population before we irretrievably damage the atmosphere. One of the holy grails right now in developing renewable fuels is enzymes, because they can be used to help process materials from one form into another. Enzymes are being used to break down cellulose into individual sugar molecules that can then be easily fermented in to ethanol. Another potential application of enzymes is in carbon sequestration. The idea of grabbing carbon dioxide from an exhaust stream and then pumping it deep into the ground for long-term storage seems pretty straight forward, but implementation is somewhat more problematic.

CO2 Solution of Quebec City, Canada is developing a genetically engineered form of E. coli bacteria that can generate an enzyme that will help make carbon capture easier. The enzyme would be used in a bioreator through which carbon dioxide would be passed and converted to bicarbonate. The bicarbonate is more readily captured from the exhaust stream and can then be processed into other materials like limestone, or even back into pure carbon dioxide for long-term underground storage.

[Source: MIT Technology Review via TreeHugger]


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