Establishment and scale-up of technical enzyme processes

Enzymatic biotransformations often occur in an aqueous medium under very mild reaction conditions and are therefore associated with low energy consumption. In addition, enzymes are highly selective, so that no unknown by-products are usually produced during the reaction. The product must be purified and concentrated in a downstream process (downstream processing). This process can often be simplified during process development by selecting the appropriate reaction conditions. The increase in space-time yield can be achieved by targeted process optimization, but also by modifying and optimizing the biocatalysts.

Fraunhofer IGB addresses precisely these aspects in establishing technical enzyme processes and combines experience in the development and optimization of enzyme-catalysed reactions with competence in the field of product processing (downstream processing) and biocatalyst development. The focus is always on the development of scalable processes. For this reason, suitable stirrers are selected during the development phase, for example when establishing an enzymatic conversion in the stirred reactor, suitable criteria for increasing the scale are defined and process conditions are defined with a view to subsequent implementation on a pilot scale. The highly scaled processes designed at the Fraunhofer IGB can be carried out at our institute in Leuna, the Fraunhofer Center for Chemical-Biotechnological Processes CBP, or at project partners and customers.

Technical enzymes developed at Fraunhofer IGB are also used, for example, to produce basic chemicals such as formaldehyde, methanol, formic acid and methyl formate from biogas. The intermediate product formaldehyde can be either produced chemically or by enzyme technology.

Fields of activity

Preparation of triglyceride and fatty acid epoxides

Saccharification of lignocellulose

Enzymatic modification of lignin

Enzymatic detoxification of lignocellulose pulping solutions

Enzymatic conversion of chitin