Microbially induced calcium carbonate precipitation through CO2 sequestration via an engineered bacillus subtilis

Meng Zhang*, Katie Gilmour, Prakriti Sharma Ghimire, Jennifer Wright, Jamie Haystead, Martyn Dade-Robertson, Paul James

*Corresponding author for this work

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BACKGROUND: Microbially induced calcium carbonate precipitation has been extensively researched for geoengineering applications as well as diverse uses within the built environment. Bacteria play a crucial role in producing calcium carbonate minerals, via enzymes including carbonic anhydrase-an enzyme with the capability to hydrolyse CO 2, commonly employed in carbon capture systems. This study describes previously uncharacterised carbonic anhydrase enzyme sequences capable of sequestering CO2 and subsequentially generating CaCO 3 biominerals and suggests a route to produce carbon negative cementitious materials for the construction industry.

RESULTS: Here, Bacillus subtilis was engineered to recombinantly express previously uncharacterised carbonic anhydrase enzymes from Bacillus megaterium and used as a whole cell catalyst allowing this novel bacterium to sequester CO 2 and convert it to calcium carbonate. A significant decrease in CO 2 was observed from 3800 PPM to 820 PPM upon induction of carbonic anhydrase and minerals recovered from these experiments were identified as calcite and vaterite using X-ray diffraction. Further experiments mixed the use of this enzyme (as a cell free extract) with Sporosarcina pasteurii to increase mineral production whilst maintaining a comparable level of CO 2 sequestration.

CONCLUSION: Recombinantly produced carbonic anhydrase successfully sequestered CO 2 and converted it into calcium carbonate minerals using an engineered microbial system. Through this approach, a process to manufacture cementitious materials with carbon sequestration ability could be developed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number168
Number of pages12
JournalMicrobial Cell Factories
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2024

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