Biocatalysis is the use of enzymes and proteins to perform chemical transformations. Enzymes and proteins are increasingly used in organic reactions due to excellent chemo-, regio- and stereoselectivity, environmental sustainability, milder reaction conditions, improved productivity, simplified work-streams, and greater economic saving potential. Generally, many of these biocatalytic reactions are performed in aqueous buffer solutions so that the enzymes and proteins remain in their natural form, which is also their active form. These aqueous solutions present problems for many organic reactions. These range from low solubility of organic compounds in an aqueous medium, low turnover numbers, and solvent reagent incompatibility. This experiment performs a 3-step construction of engineered myoglobin protein-polymer nano construct (biocatalyst). This process consists of a cationization of the biocatalyst using an amine, electrostatic attachment of negatively charged detergent, and lyophilization to remove water and generate the nano-construct. Once immobilized, the biocatalyst is ready to be used for various organic transformations. All organic transformations (C-X bond forming reactions, where X= C, N, S, Si, B, etc.) will be performed in both aqueous and non-aqueous media (both ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents) and then compared based on % conversion and turn over numbers. Another focus of this study is around the recovery and reusability of the biocatalyst in these reactions and study the reaction kinetics. Another avenue we are exploring is the utility of these types of immobilized non-natural biocatalysts and Deep Eutectic solvent combinations in performing multi-component organic transformations.


VSU Department of Chemistry

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