Process benchmarking & evaluation

Description of work

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.


This work package addresses the benchmarking and evaluation of the demonstrated biocatalytic processes, but also individual enzyme performance and production system performance in order evaluate the technology platform. The benchmarking and evaluation are required at 2 stages of development – at the start to establish targets for processes and biocatalyst improvement – at the end to establish process feasibility. The process is iterative in that developments at each stage can be used to re-evaluate the process.

Specific objectives

  1. Establish a protocol for benchmarking and evaluation of the case studies in biooxidation in this proposal.
  2. Use the protocol to establish early stage targets for process development.
  3. Evaluate processes at the completion of development to assess feasibility for scale-up.
  4. Evaluating the economic feasibility of the processes and the platform compared to conventional processes.
  5. Assessing the environmental benefits of the processes.
j woodley2

Partners involved in work package 5:

Technical University of Denmark (DTU, WP leader Professor John Woodley), DSM Chemical (DSM), Givaudan Suisse S.A. (GIV), ChemStream BVBA (CS), c-LEcta GmbH (CLE), Technische Universitaet Graz (TUG), Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (RUG).

“The research for this work has received funding from the European Union (EU) project ROBOX (grant agreement n° 635734) under EU’s Horizon 2020 Programme Research and Innovation actions H2020-LEIT BIO-2014-1”