The aim of the project is the development of electrochemical reactors for the manufacture of fine chemicals with dehydrogenases as a process with almost zero waste emission. The production of enantio pure compounds with high EE’s can be achieved by using dehydrogenases as biocatalysts, because they express high enantio selectivity in ketone reduction, combined with broad substrate spectra by some of these enzymes. These proteins will be engineered for improved catalytic performance using the tools of molecular evolution, modelling, structure prediction, and crystallography. As these dehydrogenases typically require cosubstrate regeneration by aid of a second enzymatic reaction, we are looking for the alternative solution of an electrochemical approach for the regeneration of reduced cofactors. If all active compounds can be functionally immobilized on the electrode surface the constructed reactor would convert the educt in the input flow to the product in the output flow avoiding any contaminations. All necessary components like the mediator, the cofactor and the dehydrogenase will be bound to nano or meso structured electrodes (for increased active surface area) resulting in biofunctionalised surfaces with tailored properties at the nanoscale. Optimization of the electrode materials and surfaces, of the mediators and the required spacers as well as the surface bound dehydrogenase activities will result in electrochemical reactor moduls which can deliver enantio pure synthons for desired compounds in pharmaceutical or agrochemical applications. The obtained data will increase our knowledge on nanostructured catalysts and inorganic-organic hybrid systems. Cheap cofactor regeneration, easy product purification, high selectivity and avoidance of organic solvents will be the advantages of such processes to satisfy the demands of green chemistry in respect of environmentally friendly, flexible and energy efficient productions.
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