The successful implementation of chemical or biological processes using either microorganisms and enzymes or chemical catalysts is the key to more sustainable production of valuable chemical compounds. However, only the combination of suitable catalysts with different advantages from both disciplines holds the potential to develop processes that are truly superior to current production methods in terms of efficiency and sustainability. In such hybrid processes, microorganisms could use substrates present in human waste streams from agriculture and the food industry to provide simple chemical building blocks. Enzymes could then be used to diversify these compounds in vitro, enabling the construction of product platforms with valuable fine chemicals, more complex building blocks and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). In addition, chemical transformations can complement and diversify the product portfolio.
In the HyImPAct project funded by the Bioeconomy Science Center, we established a hybrid process for the bio-based production of chiral amino alcohols and APIs from xylose and glucose as simple sugars. In this process, microorganisms initially convert these substrates into the precursor molecules L-alanine and pyruvate, before these compounds are turned into high-value pharmaceuticals via chemo-enzymatic cascades. Amongst others, the sympathomimetic drug metaraminol as well as tetrahydroisoquinolines, scaffolds found in numerous bioactive natural products, were in focus of this study. An integrated engineering approach, including product isolation gave a boost to the entire process chain.
Likewise, chiral diols and dioxolanes can be obtained from renewable raw materials if (micro)biologists, chemists, and engineers work together. This joint project, funded by the Cluster of Excellence "Fuel Science Center", is about the adaptive use of renewable raw materials and the integration of CO2.
HYIMPACT Hybrid processes for Important Precursor and Active pharmaceutical ingredients AG Classen
FSC Exzellenzcluster - The Fuel Science Center
Uplift – Upcycling bio plastics of food and drinks packaging