Nowadays, most commercial enzymes belong to the group of hydrolases while oxidative enzymes, despite of their great potential, only represent a small percentage of the enzymes used at the industrial scale. In the frame of previous projects, the singular catalytic properties of certain families of oxidative enzymes (oxidoreductases) involved in lignin degradation by fungi from the group of basidiomycetes have been described by our research team. These heme-peroxidases, flavo-oxidases and multicopper-oxidases posses high redox-potential, low requirements, high robustness, and the ability to catalyze the oxidation of a range of substrates (some of them stereoselectively).
In NOESIS we will show the feasible utilization of these enzymes as biocatalysts for some target oxidations of interest for the chemical sector (including lignocellulose biorefineries): furans oxidation, secondary alcohol deracemization, polyaniline synthesis, dye detoxification, lignin modification, oxidation of phenols, or fragrance production from carotenes. These reactions have been selected in collaboration with the two project EPOS, i.e. Novozymes (Denmark) and Biopolis (Spain).
To this end, we have chosen several oxidoreductase families, whose catalytic and operational properties will be fine-tuned for the target reactions. These biocatalysts will be finally evaluated in at least three of the above mentioned model oxidation reactions, under the advice of some companies that have already expressed their interest in the planned studies.