Friday, 17 June 2022 12:00

Modelling Biocatalytic Processes to Accelerate Industrial Implementation

Biocatalysis has developed enormously in recent years and today represents an important method for the sustainable synthesis and production of many new compounds. Nevertheless, in most cases, successful
industrial implementation requires significant biocatalyst and process development [1]. Modelling is a particularly powerful tool to guide us through the various stages of development required, and in this
presentation the role of modelling to help implement new processes will be described. At the simplest level, the use of surrogate metrics can be very useful to assist in guiding protein engineering and decisions about process configuration [2]. At a deeper level are the thermodynamic models describing the reaction, as well as kinetic models defining the rate law for a given enzyme. Examples of the use of such models to assist in protein and reaction engineering will be presented. Finally looking to the future, models are also required to describe enzyme stability under industrial conditions. This remains one of the major challenges for the future, especially linked to scale-up.
[1] Woodley, J. M. (2022) ChemSusChem, e202102683.
[2] Meissner, M. P. and Woodley, J. M. (2022) Nature Catal., 5, 2-4.


John Woodley obtained his undergraduate degree from UMIST (Manchester, UK) in Chemical Engineering and PhD in Biochemical Engineering from UCL (London, UK) in 1988. He is currently full Professor at DTU
Chemical Engineering in Denmark, where he has been since 2007. His research interests are in the development of novel bioprocesses, with particular focus on biocatalysis, encompassing work on thermodynamics, kinetics and enzyme stability. Current enzymes of interest include oxidases, oxygenases, transaminases and lipases. He has published around 300 scientific papers and 30 book  chapters. In 2016, he was the elected Chair of the GRC on Biocatalysis (USA) and in 2021 he was awarded an ERC Advanced Grant. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (UK) and the Royal Academy of Engineering (UK).

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