Lipases as Sustainable Biocatalysts for the Sustainable Industrial Production of Fine Chemicals and Cosmetics

R Kourist, F. Hollmann, G. S. Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lipases A and B from the psychrophilic basidiomyceteous yeast Pseudozyma antarctica (formerly known as Candida antarctica) belong to the most important industrial biocatalysts with numerous applications in the oleochemical, polymer, textile, biodiesel, and detergent industry. Both lipases have been intensively studied for decades. Nevertheless, several important achievements were made in the last few years. This highlight presents three recent trends that significantly widen the application of lipases. Firstly, improvements in enzyme formulation and reactor setups have improved the performance of lipase in solvent-free reactions systems, which have significantly broadened the scope of lipases for the environmentally friendly synthesis of cosmetic products. Secondly, combination with chemical reactions has a tremendous potential to widen the scope of lipases. For instance, metal-free racemization reactions proved to be a successful approach to increase the yield in the industrially established kinetic resolution of amines. Thirdly, the impressive process in the engineering of lipases shortened time horizons for catalyst development and led to series of novel biocatalysts with engineered selectivity. Successful examples include lipase variants with improved activity towards amines, increased substrate scope, increased or even inverted enantioselectivity and increased ability to discriminate cis and trans fatty acids.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1029
Number of pages1
JournalJSM Biotechnology & Biomedical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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