Currently the aerobic bio-catalytic oxidation reaction is the one that would have the biggest impact on the future uptake of industrial biotechnology in Europe. Chemical oxidation is both hazardous and has high environment impacts. Many oxidative bio-catalytic reactions and transformations have been identified in academic laboratories but only a very small number have been applied by industry to oxidize non-natural substrates.
Hence biocatalysis for oxidative chemical manufacture processes can deliver a major advantage to the European chemical-using industries and the environment. In this project we intend to develop the tools for implementation of bio-oxidation to synthesize and oxidize alcohols.
Cytochrome P450 enzymes will be investigated for hydroxylation of fatty acid derivatives and terpenes which have potential to be used in biopolymers and fragrance chemicals respectively form one line of investigation. The second is the selective oxidation of primary alcohols to give products with added value in their own right and as intermediates towards other valuable products.
To support the implementation culture collections and literature reported DNA sequences will be used to identify diverse enzymes with predicted oxidase activities, which will be used as starting point for an enzyme improvement program. Then fermentation and enzyme formulation techniques will improve reaction performance to a level where useful quantities of target products can be produced for evaluation by industrial partners, and engineering techniques will analyse and implement reactor configurations that will further improve this technology platform to enable this technology to be introduced as a routine technology in the IB industry and support the European KBBE.
Further a dynamic public engagement and dissemination program will be used to promote the project, IB and the FP7 program within the science community and the public, especially schoolchildren, to create extra value for the funders.
Fields of science
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