Electro-biocatalytic production of formate from carbon dioxide using an oxygen-stable whole cell biocatalyst

Hyojin Hwang, Young Joo Yeon, Sumi Lee, Hyunjun Choe, Min Gee Jang, Dae Haeng Cho, Sehkyu Park, Yong Hwan Kim
Bioresource Technology 2015, 185: 35-9
The use of biocatalysts to convert CO2 into useful chemicals is a promising alternative to chemical conversion. In this study, the electro-biocatalytic conversion of CO2 to formate was attempted with a whole cell biocatalyst. Eight species of Methylobacteria were tested for CO2 reduction, and one of them, Methylobacterium extorquens AM1, exhibited an exceptionally higher capability to synthesize formate from CO2 by supplying electrons with electrodes, which produced formate concentrations of up to 60mM. The oxygen stability of the biocatalyst was investigated, and the results indicated that the whole cell catalyst still exhibited CO2 reduction activity even after being exposed to oxygen gas. From the results, we could demonstrate the electro-biocatalytic conversion of CO2 to formate using an obligate aerobe, M. extorquens AM1, as a whole cell biocatalyst without providing extra cofactors or hydrogen gas. This electro-biocatalytic process suggests a promising approach toward feasible way of CO2 conversion to formate.

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