SUPRA is a Linneaus Centre where researchers within chemistry, physics and life science collaborate. This project is carried out in the groups of Industrial Biotechnology, Applied Surface Chemistry and Physical Chemistry.
Researchers: Cyrielle Bonzom, Lisbeth Olsson, Milene Zezzi Do Valle Gomes, Anders Palmqvist, Pegah Sadat Nabavi Zadeh, Björn Åkerman
The “Enzyme-catalyzed reactions in confined media” cluster is composed of 3 PhD students and their PIs working in close collaboration. This collaboration between applied surface chemistry, physical chemistry and industrial biotechnology allows to control the process from development of the support, studies of transport phenomena to enzyme catalyzed reactions.
The work performed by the Industrial Biotechnology division focusses more on the enzyme part with the aim of producing good biocatalysts and immobilizing them in mesoporous materials. We also study the interaction between the support and the enzyme.
Enzymes are natural catalysts and are able to perform a wide range of chemical reactions. The use of enzymes also allows processes to run at milder conditions, therefore enzymatic processes are generally regarded as more environmentally friendly. One major limitation of such processes is the instability of enzymes. This issue can be overcome by immobilizing enzyme. In addition, immobilization in mesoporous silica provides the enzymes with a sheltered environment and makes them reusable.
In our part of the SUPRA project we work on a specific class of enzymes: feruloyl esterases. This class of enzyme is of utmost interest in plant cell wall degradation but can also perform the reverse reaction: transesterification. Products of transesterification reactions are bioactive compounds, which are of interest for cosmetics, pharmaceutical and food industries.
The SUPRA project is funded by the Swedish Research Council (VR) from 2008 until 2017.