Topics in Catalysis

, Volume 62, Issue 17–20, pp 1202–1207 | Cite as

Reaction Engineering for the Industrial Implementation of Biocatalysis

  • John M. WoodleyEmail author
Original Paper


Biocatalytic processes (using one or more enzymes) for the production of chemicals is an important potential route to more sustainable manufacturing and today have found application in several industries, but most notably in the pharmaceutical sector. For high-priced pharmaceuticals, the development of new processes is primarily dependent upon enzyme development. However, the wider application of biocatalytic processes towards lower-priced chemicals will demand reaction engineering to be considered, alongside biocatalyst development. Bioreaction engineering should include an evaluation of the thermodynamics and reaction kinetics, as well as the stability of the biocatalyst. In this brief article, tools to assist in the collection and evaluation of reaction engineering data will be discussed, and illustrated using biological oxidation as an example.


Biocatalytic processes Bioreaction engineering Enzyme kinetics Biocatalyst stability 



  1. 1.
    Sheldon RA, Woodley JM (2018) The role of biocatalysis in sustainable chemistry. Chem Rev 118:801–834CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Arnold F (2018) Directed evolution: bringing new chemistry to life. Angew Chem Int Ed 57:4143.4148Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kan SB, Lewis RD, Chen K, Arnold FH (2016) Directed evolution of cytochrome c for carbon-silicon bond formation: bringing silicon to life. Science 354:1048–1051CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Pollard DJ, Woodley JM (2007) Biocatalysis for pharmaceutical intermediates: the future is now. Trends Biotechnol 25:66–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Truppo MD (2017) Biocatalysis in the pharmaceutical industry: the need for speed. ACS Med Chem Lett 8:476–480CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ringborg RH, Woodley JM (2016) The application of reaction engineering to biocatalysis. React Chem Eng 1:10–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Abu R, Woodley JM (2015) Application of enzyme coupling reactions to shift thermodynamically-limited biocatalytic reactions. ChemCatChem 7:3094–3105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Woodley JM, Bisschops M, Straathof AJJ, Ottens M (2008) Future directions for in-situ product removal (ISPR). J Chem Tech Biotechnol 83:121–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bar-Even A, Noor E, Savir Y, Liebermeister W, Davidi D, Tawfik DS, Milo R (2011) The moderately efficient enzyme: evolutionary and physicochemical trends shaping enzyme parameters. Biochem 50:4402–4410CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Polizzi KM, Bommarius AS, Broering JM, Chaparro-Riggers JF (2007) Stability of biocatalysts. Curr Opin Chem Biol 11:220–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bommarius AS, Paye MF (2013) Stabilizing biocatalysts. Chem Soc Rev 42:6534–6565CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fu X (2005) Applications of oxidoreductases: recent progress. Ind Biotechnol 1:38–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Turner NJ (2011) Enantioslecetive oxidation of C-O and C-N bonds using oxidases. Chem Rev 111:4073–4087CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Liu J, Wu S, Li Z (2018) Recent advances in enzymatic oxidation of alcohols. Curr Opin Chem Biol 43:77–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Dong J, Fernández-Fueyo E, Hollmann F, Paul C, Pasic M, Schmidt S, Wang Y, Younes S, Zhang W (2018) Biocatalytic oxidation reactions – a chemist’s perspective. Angew Chem Int Ed 57:9238–9261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Brummund J, Sonke T, Mϋller M (2015) Process development for biocatalytic oxidations applying alcohol dehydrogenases. Org Proc Res Dev 19:1590–1595CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Tan Q, Qiu J, Luo X, Zhang Y, Liu Y, Chen Y, Yuan J, Liao W (2018) Progress in one-pot bioconversion of cephalosporin C to 7-aminocephalosporanic acid. Curr Pharma Biotechnol 19:30–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Sato T, Hamad Y, Sumikawa M, Araki S, Yamamoto H (2014) Solubility of oxygen in organic solvents and calculation of the Hansen solubility parameters of oxygen. Ind Eng Chem Res 53:19331–19337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Toftgaard Pedersen A, Carvalho T, Sutherland E, Rehn G, Ashe R, Woodley JM (2017) Biocatalytic oxidation in a continuous agitated cell reactor. Biotech Bioeng 114:1222–1230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ringborg RH, Toftgaard Pedersen A, Woodley JM (2017) Automated determination of oxygen dependent enzyme kinetics in a tube-in-tube microreactor. ChemCatChem 9:3285–3288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Woodley JM (2017) Integrating protein engineering with process design for biocatalysis. Phil Trans R Soc A 376:20170062CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Biochemical EngineeringTechnical University of Denmark (DTU)Kgs. LyngbyDenmark

Personalised recommendations