Bioprocess Intensification Using Flow Reactors: Stereoselective Oxidation of Achiral 1,3-diols with Immobilized Acetobacter Aceti

    Valerio De Vitis 1, Federica Dall’Oglio 2, Francesca Tentori 3, Martina Letizia Contente 4, Elisabetta Brenna 3, Lucia Tamborini 2, Francesco Molinari 1

    • 1 Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences (DeFENS), Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Celoria 2, 20133 Milan, Italy
    • 2 Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (DISFARM), Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Mangiagalli 25, 20133 Milan, Italy
    • 3 Dipartimento di Chimica, Materiali ed Ingegneria Chimica “Giulio Natta” Politecnico di Milano, Via Mancinelli 7, I-20131 Milan, Italy
    • 4 School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK

    Enantiomerically enriched 2-hydroxymethylalkanoic acids were prepared by oxidative desymmetrisation of achiral 1,3-diols using immobilized cells of Acetobacter aceti in water at 28 °C. The biotransformations were first performed in batch mode with cells immobilized in dry alginate, furnishing the desired products with high molar conversion and reaction times ranging from 2 to 6 h. The biocatalytic process was intensified using a multiphasic flow reactor, where a segmented gas–liquid flow regime was applied for achieving an efficient O2-liquid transfer; the continuous flow systems allowed for high yields and high biocatalyst productivity.

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