Highly efficient oxidation of amines to aldehydes with flow-based biocatalysis

    Dr. Martina L. Contente1,2, Federica Dall'Oglio3, Dr. Lucia Tamborini3, Prof. Francesco Molinari4, Prof. Francesca Paradisi1,2

    • 1 School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
    • 2 UCD School of Chemistry, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
    • 3 Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, DISFARM, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
    • 4 Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Science, DeFENS, University of Milan, Milan, Italy

    A new mild and efficient process for the aqueous preparation of aldehydes, which are employed as flavour and fragrance components in food, beverage, cosmetics, as well as in pharmaceuticals, was developed using a continuous-flow approach based on an immobilised pure transaminase-packed bed reactor. HEWT, an ω-transaminase from the haloadapted bacterium Halomonas elongata, has been selected for its excellent stability and substrate scope. Sixteen different amines were rapidly (3–15 min) oxidised to the corresponding aldehydes (90 to 99 %) with only 1 to 5 equivalents of sodium pyruvate. The process was fully automated, allowing for the in-line recovery of the pure aldehydes (chemical purity >99 % and isolated yields above 80 %), without any further work-up procedure.

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