First pilot tests show promise of enzymes to facilitate CO2
capture from coal-fired power plants
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jul. 9, 2012--
Codexis, Inc. (Nasdaq: CDXS) today unveiled results from the pilot-scale
demonstration of the company’s carbon capture technology conducted at
the National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC) in Wilsonville, Alabama.
Codexis developed this patented technology under a license granted by CO2
Solutions, Inc. (TSXV:CST). The field test, on flue gas emitted from a
Southern Company’s power plant, shows that enzymes have promise to
facilitate CO2 capture at coal-fired power plants. This is
the largest scale that enzyme-based carbon capture technology has been
demonstrated to date, with the equivalent daily capture rate of 1,800
average sized trees per day.
In May 2010, Codexis received $4.7 million from the U.S. Department of
Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) to develop
an active enzyme called carbonic anhydrase (CA), which catalyzes the
transfer of carbon dioxide in nature and is designed to remove dangerous
emissions from coal-fired power plants.
With ARPA-E’s funding, Codexis saw the largest improvement in an enzyme
the company has ever seen: a 2-million-fold improvement in thermal
stability at temperatures between 140 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit. In
addition, preliminary analysis indicates the enzyme-based carbon capture
technology can substantially reduce parasitic energy loss compared to
the current state-of-the-art MEA technology.
A 2011 National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) report estimated
that coal-fired power plants account for roughly 37 percent of total
U.S. CO2 emissions and that current state-of-the-art MEA
technology to capture CO2 could reduce power-generating
capacity by 30 percent. Codexis’ enzyme-based technology, if successful,
could play a role in meeting the proposed new EPA standards (Carbon
Pollution Standard for New Power Plants), first published in April 2012
– theoretically capturing up to 90 percent of CO2 emissions
of coal-fired power plants.
"Using Codexis’ enzyme-based carbon capture technology, power plant
operators may be able to capture carbon much more efficiently," said
James Lalonde, Ph.D., Vice President of Biochemistry and Engineering
Research and Development, Codexis, who led the demonstration. “By
partnering with CO2 Solutions, we were able to access their
broad patent portfolio, which covers various processes for the use of
carbonic anhydrase, and apply Codexis technology to make biocatalysts
work under harsh, real-world conditions.”
Codexis used its patented CodeEvolver™ directed evolution technology to
develop processes to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired
power plants. Carbonic anhydrase (CA) is an enzyme that catalyzes the
transfer of carbon dioxide in nature. CodeEvolverTM can be
used to create and deploy CA biocatalysts with substantially improved
stability and performance under industrial conditions.
“Codexis has pushed enzyme-based carbon capture technology to a level
that surpassed all expectations, and we’ve succeeded in demonstrating
that this could be a viable solution,” said John Nicols, President and
CEO of Codexis. "This achievement proves that Codexis CodeEvolver™
directed evolution technology can impact industries well beyond fuels,
chemicals, and pharmaceuticals."
“This demonstration illustrates that innovative new materials and
collaboration between Codexis, ARPA-E and the National Carbon Capture
Center can achieve new scientific milestones,” said Dr. Karma Sawyer,
Assistant Program Director responsible for the ARPA-E’s Innovative
Materials and Processes for Advanced Carbon Capture Technologies
(IMPACCT) program. “We believe the directed evolution technology shows
significant promise and has the potential to impact future carbon
capture technologies. We look forward to Codexis’ continued
technological advancements in the industry.”
About Codexis, Inc.
Codexis, Inc. is a developer of cost-advantaged processes for the
production of biofuels, bio-based chemicals, and pharmaceutical
intermediates. Codexis' product lines include CodeXyme™ Cellulase
Enzymes and CodeXol™ Detergent Alcohol. Partners and customers include
global leaders such as Shell, Merck and Pfizer. For more information,
Source: Codexis, Inc.
Kelly McAlearney, 415-503-4073 (Media)