Towards solvent-free reaction mixtures enzyme recyclability

Towards solvent-free reaction mixtures for enzyme recyclability

6:31 AM, 31st January 2015
Towards solvent-free reaction mixtures for enzyme recyclability
This lipase is one of the most largely employed enzymes in industry.

FRANKFURT, GERMANY: Taking an unconventional approach to biocatalysis has allowed scientists in Italy to improve enzyme recyclability with a solvent-free reaction mixture. And by emphasising a need to design processes, biocatalysts and reactors together, instead of separately, they hope to widen the industrial applications of nature’s catalysts.

Lucia Gardossi, from the University of Trieste in Italy, has been investigating solvent-free reaction mixtures, which appeal to industry because of their comparably small production volumes and lack of organic solvents to dispose of. Although their efficiency and selectivity are attractive, biocatalysed versions of industrial reactions are rarely economically viable. The typically viscous reaction mixtures require vigorous mixing, which damages the enzymes and limits their recyclability.

Gardossi’s team’s solution involves a thin film with enzymes covalently immobilised on resin carriers that they tested on a lipase-driven polyesterification. This system preserved the enzyme’s integrity, as the reaction mixture does not need to not stirred, improving recyclability.

The research emphasised the need to stop trying to use enzymes as normal catalysts. Instead of using general reactors, under standard conditions, processes need to be designed specifically to suit biocatalysts. “In many cases process engineering, enzymology and organic chemistry are treated and developed in parallel. In the future, if we want to design very efficient processes, we will have to integrate these from the beginning through a multidisciplinary approach,” explained Gardossi.

The group are now looking to improve the sustainability of their system, by replacing the current petroleum-based carrier resins with ones made from biomass.


© Royal Society of Chemistry News



Your Comments (Up to 2000 characters)
Please respect our community and the integrity of its participants. WOC reserves the right to moderate and approve your comment.

Related News

Green tea can kill cancer cells, finds new study

PENNSYLVANIA, US: Green tea helps with weight-loss, diabetes, protects heart, helps get rid of that wretched smoking addiction and boosts immunity. No ...

Read more
Solvay to sell German-based refrigerant business, pharma propellants to Daikin

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM: Solvay has agreed to sell its German-based refrigerant business and pharma propellants to Daikin in Japan, as its Special Chemicals ...

Read more
Beer compound could slow development of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s diseases

WASHINGTON DC, US: The health-promoting perks of wine have attracted the spotlight recently, leaving beer in the shadows. But scientists are discoveri ...

Read more
Cotton, hemp, wood used to make vehicle body

BRAUNSCHWEIG, GERMANY: Carbon and glass fibers reinforce synthetics so that they can be used for vehicle body construction. But in this regard, there ...

Read more
Newly developed eyeglasses can turn to sunglasses on command

WASHINGTON DC, US: Imagine eyeglasses that can go quickly from clear to shaded and back again when you want them to, rather than passively in response ...

Read more
Evonik invests in nanophotonics company, Nanocomp

ESSEN, GERMANY: Evonik has invested in Nanocomp Oy Ltd, Lehmo, Finland and now holds a minority share in the company. It was made as part of an invest ...

Read more uses cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. X