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Scientists turn CO2 into $

A group of South Korean researchers has developed a way to commercially utilize carbon dioxide that may offer a new approach to dealing with climate change.

The team from Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) has successfully produced carbonic anhydrase, an enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of carbon dioxide and water to bicarbonate and protons that, in turn, could produce substances widely used in industrial products, including plastic, rubber, paint and artificial bones, according to the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs.

The research was part of a government-funded project to develop ways to capture and store carbon dioxide.

Previously, most carbonic anhydrases were available only from cow serum, making them too expensive — at about 3 million won ($2,664) for 1 gram — for commercial use. “The new carbonic anhydrase developed this time can effectively replace conventional anhydrases, and also be used to help reduce carbon dioxide,” the ministry said.

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