Surfactants Facilitating Carbonic Anhydrase Enzyme-Mediated CO2 Absorption into a Carbonate Solution

Shihan Zhang, Yongqi Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Carbonic anhydrase (CA) enzyme-mediated absorption processes are regarded as promising alternatives to the conventional amine-based process for CO2 capture because of their low energy penalty and low risk of causing secondary pollution. The activity and stability of the CA enzyme are crucial to reducing the equipment and operating costs of the enzyme-mediated process. This work investigated three cationic and nonionic surfactants to improve the activity and stability of a technical-grade CA enzyme in a 20 wt % potassium carbonate solution. Experimental results revealed that the impact of the surfactants on the CA enzyme depended on their properties. For example, the cationic surfactant significantly enhanced the activity of CA enzyme but adversely affected enzyme stability. However, in the presence of the cationic surfactant after 30 days at 50 °C, the activity of the CA enzyme still outperformed that of CA without added surfactant. The nonionic surfactant significantly improved enzyme stability. Furthermore, the addition of surfactants within a critical micelle concentration of 1.0 did not distinctly influence the gas-liquid mass transfer, indicating that surfactant-enzyme interaction was responsible for the observed variations in the activity and stability of the tested enzyme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8537-8543
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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