Today’s quest for environmentally friendly and sustainable alternatives requires that traditional chemical processes are replaced by “greener” variants. Current industrial conversions are typically performed under harsh conditions (high temperature and pressure), requiring often toxic chemicals and generate hazardous by products. Enzymes have emerged as powerful alternatives to replace chemical catalysts or as a basis for potential biotechnological applications. This because enzymes typically operate under mild reaction conditions (ambient temperature and atmospheric pressure) and use cheap cosubstrates (e.g. oxygen). Moreover, enzyme-catalyzed reactions often display outstanding selectivity and good yield, which are difficult to achieve by chemical means. These features ensure that enzymes are also industrially relevant. Many studies demonstrate the use of enzymes as alternatives for the production of fine chemicals, active pharmaceutical ingredients, vitamins, flavors and fragrances. The use of enzymes or recombinant mirco organisms in chemical conversions is known as biocatalysis. Despite the many biocatalytic successes, full exploitation at an industrial scale is hampered by the poor instability of many enzymes. A collection of robust enzymes is therefore a prerequisite to enable their exploitation in industrial conversions. The European union-funded ROBOX project aims at developing a set of stable enzymes for industrial redox conversions. Specifically, ROBOX will demonstrate the techno-economic viability of bio-transformations of four types of robust oxidative enzymes: P450 monooxygenases (P450s), Baeyer-Villiger MonoOxygenase (BVMOs), Alcohol DeHydrogenase (ADH) and Alcohol OXidase (AOX) for which target reactions have already been validated on lab-scale in pharma, nutrition, fine & specialty chemicals and materials applications.
Explore the official ROBOX site to learn more about this exciting project.