The application of engineering principles in biocatalytic process development


Due to its numerous benefits, biocatalysis is considered as transformational technology for chemical production[1]. This does not surprise considering the mild process conditions and high catalytic power of enzymes. Still, when it comes to its application in industry, not all goes always as well as planned. Industrial biotransformations need to  be set up in a way to produce significant amount of product[2] with high product yield, excellent enantioselectivity, volume productivity, substrate conversion etc. Thus, a careful choice of reactor set-up, facilitated by a detailed kinetic analysis[3,4], or some other engineering approach[5] is important. This is not only essential for the complex  reaction systems, but also for relatively simple ones. For an efficient enzymatic process in general, it is important to combine the knowledge of enzyme kinetics, enzyme operational stability, as well as reaction equilibrium, or determine the process parameters with the greatest impact on the process outcome. This enables defining the  dependence of crucial process variables on designated goal functions, and enables deep analysis by using models and software. In this talk, such methodologies will be demonstrated by the examples of research done in our group.

Ningqing Ran, Lishan Zhao, Zhenming Chen, Junhua Tao, Recent applications of biocatalysis in developing green chemistry for chemical synthesis at the industrial scale.Green Chem. 10, 361372(2008).
2] Pär Tufvesson, Joana Lima-Ramos, Mathias Nordblad, John M. Woodley,Guidelines and Cost Analysis for Catalyst Production in Biocatalytic Processes. Org. Process Res. Dev. 15, 266274(2011).
3] Zvjezdana Findrik Blažević, Nevena Milčić, Martina Sudar, Maja Majerić Elenkov, Halohydrin Dehalogenases and Their Potential inIndustrial Application A Viewpoint of Enzyme Reaction Engineering. Adv. Synth. Catal. 363 (2), 388-410(2021).
4] Morana Česnik Katulić,Martina Sudar, Karel Hernández, YuyinQi, Simon J. Charnock, Đurdica Vasić-Rački, Pere Clapés, Zvjezdana Findrik Blažević,Cascade Synthesis of l-Homoserine Catalyzed by Lyophilized Whole Cells Containing Transaminase and Aldolase Activities: The Mathematical Modeling Approach.Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 60, 13846-13858(2021).
5] Martina Sudar, Zvjezdana Findrik, Đurđa Vasić-Rački, Anna Soler, Pere Clapés, A new concept for production of (3S,4R)-6-[(benzyloxycarbonyl)amino]-5,6-dideoxyhex-2-ulose, a precursor of d-fagomine.RSC Adv. 5, 69819-69828(2015).

About the Speaker(s)

speakerZvjezdana Findrik Blaževićis a full professor of Chemical Engineering at the Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology of the University of Zagreb from 2018. She finished her PhD in Chemical Engineering in 2006 on the application of reaction engineering in biocatalysis. During and after her PhD she spent some time abroad at  different institutions such as Research Center Jülich in Germany, Department of Technical Chemistry at the University of Rostock, Institute of the Advanced Chemistry at the CSIC in Barcelona, University of Pannonia in Veszprem in Hungary, and University of Maribor in Slovenia. Her research involves the application of chemical engineering methodology on the development and optimization of single and multi-enzymatic reactions and on that topic, she published more than 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals and several book chapters. For her scientific work she received several national awards. In the last decade she is active in participating in EU projects, such as the past H2020 project Carbazymes, current H2020 project RadicalZ, current Marie Curie ITN C-C Top and current Marie Curie DC Biodeccodinng. She currently supervises 4 PhD students, has supervised 3 finished PhDs, and around 60 undergraduate and graduate student works.

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