Biocatalytic synthesis of chemicals

Christoph Winkler, University of Graz, Graz, Austria

Challenge area: Sustainable alternatives to our current technologies

Fast reactions, exceptional stereo-selectivities and sustainability are inherent properties of biocatalysts. For this reason, certain classical organic synthetic steps in industrial processes have already been replaced by biocatalysis.

All biocatalysts work under similar reaction conditions, enabling multiple transformations to take place simultaneously. For example, the production of polyamide monomers is possible from cyclohexanol, or styrene-monomers from corresponding phenols.

The driving force behind the University of Graz's research is to shorten tedious asymmetric syntheses. The team has established a range of enzymatic applications, including: highly stereo-selective reductive ketone amination and imine-reduction, conversion of alcohols into amines via hydrogen borrowing, as well as biocatalytic C-H activations, C-C couplings and oxidations.

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