In this latest video our Work Package 5 (Process benchmarking & evaluation) leader John Woodley describes our analysis of the successes.

(WP5 – Benchmarking and evaluation of new process for the production of chemicals is an essential stage in the development of a new chemical product and/or production route. For established chemical technology using conventional homogeneous or heterogeneous catalysts, procedures are already established to achieve such benchmarking. A primary driver in many of these processes is the improvement of selectivity. In contrast, for biocatalytic processes the very high selectivity is normally without question, but instead targets such as improvement of productivity (e.g. space-time yield) are critical. This means that the development targets for biocatalytic processes follow a different path. It is not surprising, given that biocatalysts used in industry will be under conditions very far from those in nature. For example non-natural reactants will be used at concentrations far in excess of anything ever seen by the enzyme before. Moreover an extra degree of freedom is possible in biocatalytic processes since we have the possibility not only to develop the process itself (e.g. via alternative reactors or technologies) but also via improvement of the biocatalyst properties (e.g. via protein engineering). The combination is very powerful but also requires an effective procedure. Hence in this WP the first task will be to develop a suitable protocol, followed by exemplifying this on the case studies.)