Biocatalytic Valorization of Furans:Opportunities for Inherently Unstable Substrates

Domínguez de María, Pablo; Guajardo, Nadia

Keywords: enzymes, biocatalysis, biomass conversion, Furans, deep eutectic solvents


Biogenic furans (furfural and 5‐hydroxymethylfurfural) are expected to become relevant building blocks based on their high degree of functionality and versatility. However, the inherent instability of furans poses considerable challenges for their synthetic modifications. Valorization routes of furans typically generate byproducts, impurities, wastes, and a cumbersome downstream processing, compromising their ecological footprint. Biocatalysis may become an alternative, given the high selectivity of enzymes, together with the mild reaction conditions applied. This Review critically discusses the options for enzymes in the upgrading of furans. Based on previous reports, a variety of biocatalytic transformations have been applied to furans, with successful cases both in aqueous and in water‐free media. Options comprise the biodetoxification of toxic furans in hydrolysates, selective syntheses based on oxidation–reduction processes, solvent‐free esterifications, or carboligations to afford C12 derivatives. Reported strategies show in general promising but still modest productivities (2–30 gproduct L−1 d−1, depending on the example). There are opportunities with high potential and deserving of further development, scale‐up, and technoeconomic assessment, to entirely validate them as realistic alternatives.

Más información

Título de la Revista: CHEMSUSCHEM
Volumen: 10
Número: 21
Editorial: Wiley-VCH GmbH, Weinheim
Fecha de publicación: 2017
Página de inicio: 4123
Página final: 4134
Idioma: Inglés
Notas: ISI