Innovators are full of questions.Nature has answers.


  • Strategy

CO2 activation used in organic compound manufacturing: plants


Tulip Tree / H. Zell / LicenseGFDL - Gnu Free Document License

The metabolism of photosynthesizing organisms manufactures organic compounds via carbon dioxide activation.

"The chemical activation of CO2, that is, the splitting of its structure in a chemical reaction, is a major challenge in synthetic chemistry because of the very high thermodynamic stability of CO2, which requires an efficient energy source for its activation. However, the fact that biogenic carbon (i.e., biomass) originates from the fixation of CO2 implies that CO2 activation must be one of the oldest reactions in biological systems and have already occurred in prebiotic times.[1], [2] Interestingly, in current photosynthetic systems, this process relies on the formation of a carbamate as the first step of the cycle,[3] which may also have been the case in prebiotic systems, as a number of cyanide-based, nitrogen-rich, conjugated organic molecules, such as nucleic acids, porphyrins, and phthalocyanines, existed before life began." (Goettmann et al. 2007:2717)
About the inspiring organism

Learn more at
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Using carbon dioxide as the feedstock for organic chemical manufacturing. Organic chemical manufacturing for products ranging from plastic forks to pharmaceuticals.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Manufacturing

Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces
Markus Antonietti
Max Planck Society
Goettmann, Frédéric; Thomas, Arne; Antonietti, Markus. 2007. Metal-Free Activation of CO2 by Mesoporous Graphitic Carbon Nitride. Angewandte Chemie International Edition. 46(15): 2717-2720.
Learn More at Google Scholar Google Scholar  


Login to Post a Comment.

No comments found.