New Nitrogenase Enzyme Discovered | Converts CO2 to CO ~ helpBIOTECH

27 December 2016

New Nitrogenase Enzyme Discovered | Converts CO2 to CO

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University of California, Irvine molecular biologists have discovered an effective way to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) to carbon monoxide (CO) that can be adapted for commercial applications like biofuel synthesis.

Led by Yilin Hu, UCI assistant professor of molecular biology & biochemistry at the Ayala School of Biological Sciences, the researchers found that they could successfully express the reductase component of the nitrogenase enzyme alone in the bacterium Azotobacter vinelandii and directly use this bacterium to convert CO2 to CO. The intracellular environment of the bacterium was shown to favor the conversion of CO2 in a way that would be more applicable to the future development of strategies for large-scale production of CO. The findings were surprising to the group, as nitrogenase was only previously believed to convert nitrogen (N2) to ammonia (NH3) within the bacterium under similar conditions. The full study can be found online in Nature Chemical Biology.

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