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Let the Biocatalyst Flow

Polona Žnidaršič-Plazl


Industrial biocatalysis has been identified as one of the key enabling technologies that, together with the transition to continuous processing, offers prospects for the development of cost-efficient manufacturing with high-quality products and low waste generation. This feature article highlights the role of miniaturized flow reactors with free enzymes and cells in the success of this endeavor with recent examples of their use in single or multiphase reactions. Microfluidics-based droplets enable ultrahigh-throughput screening and rapid biocatalytic process development. The use of unique microreactor configurations ensures highly efficient contacting of multiphase systems, resulting in process intensification and avoiding problems encountered in conventional batch processing. Further integration of downstream units offers the possibility of biocatalyst recycling, contributing to the cost-efficiency of the process. The use of environmentally friendly solvents supports effective reaction engineering, and thus paves the way for these highly selective catalysts to drive sustainable production.


microreactor; enzyme; flow biocatalysis; continuous process; process intensification; process integration

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Copyright (c) 2020 Polona Žnidaršič-Plazl

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