Non-Conventional Media as Strategy to Overcome the Solvent Dilemma in Chemoenzymatic Tandem Catalysis

Robert Kourist*, Javier González-Sabín

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The amazing potential of multi-catalytic cascade reactions to reduce the number of reaction steps and to solve synthetic problems brings the challenge of an increasing complexity that must be controlled. Particularly chemo-enzymatic reactions are prone to conflicts regarding different optimal reaction conditions for chemical and biological catalysts. The preference of many chemical catalysts for hydrophobic (and often water-free) solvent and of many enzymes for water poses a solvent dilemma. Recently, non-conventional solvents have been very successful to provide suitable reaction media for catalysts that otherwise require very different solvents, and to alleviate fundamental problems such as the low solubility of many substrates in aqueous solvents. In the last few years, several examples underlined the considerable potential of ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents for the engineering of cascade reactions. This mini-review showcases the recent developments on the implementation of the so-called non-conventional media in such processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1903-1912
Number of pages10
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2020


  • biocatalysis
  • chemoenzymatic cascade
  • deep eutectic solvent
  • non-conventional media
  • sustainable media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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