The aim of the proposed work is to enable a substantial increase in the rate and extent of the uptake of biocatalysis processes by industry, i.e. the use of biological catalysts to facilitate chemical reactions. The objective is to provide a generic approach to the immobilisation and/or stabilisation of enzymes using low cost, renewable support materials and novel internal cross-linking methods where the enzyme becomes its own support. The research will focus on the immobilisation/stabilisation techniques and will assess the enhancement in performance produced in the main target application of fine chemicals synthesis. However, the potential applicability is very broad and applications in textile processing and a novel fuel cell development will also be explored to a more limited extent.
The production of low cost immobilisation materials will be studied. They will be designed to be commercially viable regarding cost to use ratio. Increased stability in commercial preparations of supported biocatalysts will be sought. The ultimate aim is to produce biocatalytic enzyme nanocomposites as free flowing dry powders that may be stored at room temperature for many months (possible years) and used off the shelf for the manufacture of fine chemicals etc.
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