Iron Chelation in Soil - Scalable Biotechnology for Accelerating Carbon Dioxide Removal by Enhanced Rock Weathering

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Epihov, D. Z., Banwart, S. A., McGrath, S. P., Martin, D. P., Steeley, I. L., Cobbold, V., Kantola, I. B., Masters, M. D., DeLucia, E. H. and Beerling, D. J. 2024. Iron Chelation in Soil - Scalable Biotechnology for Accelerating Carbon Dioxide Removal by Enhanced Rock Weathering. Environmental Science & Technology. 58 (27), pp. 11970-11987. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.3c10146

AuthorsEpihov, D. Z., Banwart, S. A., McGrath, S. P., Martin, D. P., Steeley, I. L., Cobbold, V., Kantola, I. B., Masters, M. D., DeLucia, E. H. and Beerling, D. J.
Abstract

Enhanced rock weathering (EW) is an emerging atmospheric carbon dioxide removal (CDR) strategy being scaled up by the commercial sector. Here, we combine multiomics analyses of belowground microbiomes, laboratory-based dissolution studies, and incubation investigations of soils from field EW trials to build the case for manipulating iron chelators in soil to increase EW efficiency and lower costs. Microbial siderophores are high-affinity, highly selective iron (Fe) chelators that enhance the uptake of Fe from soil minerals into cells. Applying RNA-seq metatranscriptomics and shotgun metagenomics to soils and basalt grains from EW field trials revealed that microbial communities on basalt grains significantly upregulate siderophore biosynthesis gene expression relative to microbiomes of the surrounding soil. Separate in vitro laboratory incubation studies showed that micromolar solutions of siderophores and high-affinity synthetic chelator (ethylenediamine-N,N′-bis-2-hydroxyphenylacetic acid, EDDHA) accelerate EW to increase CDR rates. Building on these findings, we develop a potential biotechnology pathway for accelerating EW using the synthetic Fe-chelator EDDHA that is commonly used in agronomy to alleviate the Fe deficiency in high pH soils. Incubation of EW field trial soils with potassium-EDDHA solutions increased potential CDR rates by up to 2.5-fold by promoting the abiotic dissolution of basalt and upregulating microbial siderophore production to further accelerate weathering reactions. Moreover, EDDHA may alleviate potential Fe limitation of crops due to rising soil pH with EW over time. Initial cost-benefit analysis suggests potassium-EDDHA could lower EW-CDR costs by up to U.S. $77 t CO2 ha–1 to improve EW’s competitiveness relative to other CDR strategies.

KeywordsChelator; Chelating agent; Enhanced weathering; Carbon dioxide removal; Carbon capture siderophore; EDDHA; Basalt; Biotechnology
Year of Publication2024
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Journal citation58 (27), pp. 11970-11987
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.3c10146
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Royal Society-Leverhulme Trust
Funder project or codeS2N - Soil to Nutrition [ISPG]
Publisher's version
Supplemental file
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online24 Jun 2024
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society (ACS)
ISSN0013-936X

Permalink - https://repository.rothamsted.ac.uk/item/990zq/iron-chelation-in-soil-scalable-biotechnology-for-accelerating-carbon-dioxide-removal-by-enhanced-rock-weathering

18 total views
2 total downloads
18 views this month
2 downloads this month
Download files as zip