April 22, 2022

Our paper is accepted by Nature Catalysis

Artificially upcycling of carbon dioxide (CO2) into value-added products represents a substantially untapped opportunity to tackle environmental issue and achieve a circular economy. Compared with facilely available C1/C2 products, nevertheless, efficient and sustainable synthesis of energy-rich long-chain compounds from CO2 still remains a grand challenge. Here we describe a hybrid electro-biosystem, coupling spatially-separate CO2 electrolysis with yeast fermentation, that efficiently converts CO2 to glucose with a high yield. We employ a nanostructured copper catalyst that can stably catalyze pure acetic acid production with a solid-electrolyte reactor. We then genetically engineer Saccharomyces cerevisiae to produce glucose in vitro from electrogenerated acetic acid by deleting all defined hexokinase genes and overexpression of heterologous glucose-1-phosphatase. In addition, we showcase that the proposed platform can be easily extended to produce other products like fatty acids using CO2 as carbon source. These results illuminate the tantalizing possibility of a renewable electricity-driven manufacturing industry.