Carbon Dioxide Utilisation -The Formate Route

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
311 Downloads (Pure)


The relentless rise of atmospheric CO2 is causing large and unpredictable impacts on the Earth climate, due to the CO2 significant greenhouse effect, besides being responsible for the ocean acidification, with consequent huge impacts in our daily lives and in all forms of life. To stop spiral of destruction, we must actively reduce the CO2 emissions and develop new and more efficient “CO2 sinks”. We should be focused on the opportunities provided by exploiting this novel and huge carbon feedstock to produce de novo fuels and added-value compounds. The conversion of CO2 into formate offers key advantages for carbon recycling, and formate dehydrogenase (FDH) enzymes are at the centre of intense research, due to the “green” advantages the bioconversion can offer, namely substrate and product selectivity and specificity, in reactions run at ambient temperature and pressure and neutral pH. In this chapter, we describe the remarkable recent progress towards efficient and selective FDH-catalysed CO2 reduction to formate. We focus on the enzymes, discussing their structure and mechanism of action. Selected promising studies and successful proof of concepts of FDH-dependent CO2 reduction to formate and beyond are discussed, to highlight the power of FDHs and the challenges this CO2 bioconversion still faces.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnzymes for Solving Humankind's Problems: Natural and Artificial Systems in Health, Agriculture, Environment and Energy
EditorsJosé J. G. Moura, Isabel Moura, Luisa B. Maia
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-58315-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-58314-9
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Carbon dioxide utilisation
  • Formic acid
  • Formate dehydrogenase
  • Molybdenum
  • Tungsten
  • Hydride transfer
  • Biocatalyst
  • Green chemistry
  • Energy
  • Biotechnology


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