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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

ACTIVITY AND STABILITY OF ENGINEERED HEME BIOCATALYSTS IN DEEP EUTECTIC SOLVENTS

Abstract

Deep Eutectic Solvents (DES) are a new generation of sustainable solvents prepared by mixing two or more individual components. DESs have many desirable physicochemical properties compared to traditional organic co-solvents used in biocatalysis such as negligible vapor pressure, high thermal stability, non-flammability, conductivity, easy recycling, biodegradability, and little to no toxicity. Moreover, these solvents can be easily synthesized from cheap, commercially available, and naturally occurring renewable materials. Biocatalysis (using enzymes and proteins as catalysts) is increasingly used in organic synthesis due to its excellent chemo-, regio- and stereo- selectivity, environmental sustainability, milder reaction conditions, improved productivity, simplified work-streams and greater economical saving potential. Aqueous/organic co-solvent-based biocatalytic reactions suffer from disadvantages such as lack of substrate scope and substrate solubility, catalyst stability, catalyst recycling, decreased reaction kinetics, high toxicity, low sustainability index, etc. One way to overcome these limitations is to perform biocatalytic reactions in an aqueous/DES solvent mix or in a pure DES solvent system. The objectives of this project are to synthesize a set of 10-15 DESs and study the stability of engineered heme biocatalysts (purified enzyme) in these DES using UV-Vis spectroscopy to identify the best catalyst-DES combinations. Subsequently, the activity of the biocatalyst will be evaluated in the above-mentioned DES solvent system to establish the optimal reaction conditions. Our initial results showed that DES solvents outperforming traditional aqueous/organic co-solvents, especially under aerobic reaction conditions

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