Biocatalytic Synthesis of High-Value Chemicals from Simple and/or Renewable Starting Materials


In the context of depletion of fossilresources and global climate warming caused by fossil fuel combustion, valorization of C1 molecules (CO2, CH4, CH3OH, HCHO, etc.) and renewable feedstocks are attracting an increasing world-wide attention. As a reduction product of CO2, formaldehyde is anemerging C1 resource for the synthesis of high value-added chemicals due to its high and versatile reactivity. As part of our effort to valorization of C1 molecules and renewable feedstocks, biocatalytic processes were designed for the synthesis of chiralamino alcohols and triols of industrial importance from formaldehyde and other simple aldehydes. These results exemplify a new way for sustainable synthesis of highvalue-addedchemicals from C1molecules and simplestarting materials. Phytosterols are abundant as an unused by-product from vegetable oil industry. The industrial application of these renewable starting materials in the synthesis of steroid pharmaceutical intermediates will also be presented.

About the Speaker(s)

speakerDunming Zhu, Ph.D. Director of Tianjin Engineering Research Center of Biocatalytic Technology. He got his BS from the University of Science & Technology of China and his Ph.D. from Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). He hasco-authored more than 150 peer-reviewed articles in core international journals including Nature Catalysis, JACS, Angewandte Chemie. He authored a book “Chemo-Enzymatic Cascade Reactions” (2021, Wiley). His team has successfully transferred 6 bioprocesses to industrial partners. He serves an Editorial Board Member of several scientific journals and committee member of several Chinese professional organizations. He is co-chair of the inaugural Gordon Research Conference on Protein Engineering (2023). He gave invited talks at various international conferences such as Gordon Research Conferences on Biocatalysis and Green Chemistry, and Engineering Conference International Enzyme Engineering conferences. His research interests focus on the interface of synthetic biology and synthetic chemistry, and range from discovery of novel industrial enzymes to understanding of biocatalytic reaction mechanisms, and the integration of biocatalysis into complex organic synthesis.

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