Using prokaryotes for carbon capture storage

Natalie Hicks, Unni Vik, Peter Taylor, Efthymios Ladoukakis, Joonsang Park, Frangiskos Kolisis, Kjetill Jakobsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)
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Geological storage of CO2 is a fast-developing technology that can mitigate rising carbon emissions. However, there are environmental concerns with long-term storage and implications of a leak from a carbon capture storage (CCS) site. Traditional monitoring lacks clear protocols and relies heavily on physical methods. Here we discuss the potential of biotechnology, focusing on microbes with a natural ability to utilize and assimilate CO2 through different metabolic pathways. We propose the use of natural microbial communities for CCS monitoring and CO2 utilization, and, with examples, demonstrate how synthetic biology may maximize CO2 uptake within and above storage sites. An integrated physical and biological approach, combined with metagenomics data and biotechnological advances, will enhance CO2 sequestration and prevent large-scale leakages.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalTrends in Biotechnology
Issue number1
Early online date3 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


  • CO2 fixation
  • Metagenomics
  • Micro-organisms
  • Climate change
  • Carbon capture and storage
  • Metabolic pathways
  • Microbial communities
  • Synthetic biology


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