CHAPTER 4: Biocatalysis, an Introduction. Exploiting Enzymes as Green Catalysts in the Synthesis of Chemicals and Drugs
Published:20 Oct 2021
Biocatalysis is the chemical process through which enzymes are used as catalysts to carry out organic reactions. Biocatalysis is considered a green technology as it enables the synthesis of complex molecules under conditions that are milder and more sustainable than the corresponding chemical means. The intrinsic chirality of enzymes allows highly stereoselective chemical reactions to be performed at low temperatures and in benign solvents, like water, thus representing an intriguing alternative to classical chemical processes, especially for industry. This chapter aims to be an introduction to biocatalysis and to provide an overview on the use of enzymes in synthetic chemistry. In particular, this chapter will focus on a few enzymes widely used both in academia and industry, such as lipases, nitrilases and other oxidoreductase enzymes, showing their application in the synthesis of chemicals and drugs.