The potential of microorganisms in carbon capture and storage (CCS)
by Unni Vik from CEES/EvoGene, Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo.
Unni Vik and Kjetill S. Jakobsen at the University of Oslo were part of the international team of researchers behind the new idea. (Photo: Bjarne Røsjø, Titan.uio.no)
In this talk I will present the ongoing COVERALL project, a project that aims to develop a method to monitor CO2 leaks from carbon capture and storage (CCS) using high throughput sequencing of microorganisms. However, microbes have potential that extends beyond monitoring in CCS. In a recent opinion paper, we discuss the potential of biotechnology in CCS and in carbon capture and utilization (CCU), focusing on microbes with a natural ability to utilize and assimilate CO2 through different metabolic pathways in CCS. We stress that an integrated physical and biological approach, combined with metagenomics data and biotechnological advances, can enhance CO2 sequestration and also prevent large-scale leakages.