A prospective life‐cycle assessment (LCA) of monomer synthesis: Comparison of biocatalytic and oxidative chemistry

Marie Delgove, Achille-B. Laurent, John Woodley, Stefaan de Wildeman, Katrien Bernaerts, Yvonne van der Meer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Biotechnological processes are typically perceived to be greener than chemical processes. A life cycle assessment (LCA) was performed to compare the chemical and biochemical synthesis of lactones obtained by Baeyer-Villiger oxidation. The LCA is prospective (based on experiments at a small scale with primary data) because the process is at an early stage. The results show that the synthesis route has no significant effect on the climate change impact [(1.65 +/- 0.59)kgCO2 g(product)(-1) vs. (1.64 +/- 0.67)kgCO2 g(product)(-1)]. Key process performance metrics affecting the environmental impact were evaluated by performing a sensitivity analysis. Recycling of solvents and enzyme were shown to provide an advantage to the enzymatic synthesis. Additionally, the climate change impact was decreased by 71% if renewable electricity was used. The study shows that comparative LCAs can be used to usefully support decisions at an early stage of process development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1349-1360
Number of pages12
JournalChemsuschem
Volume12
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2019

Keywords

  • BAEYER-VILLIGER OXIDATION
  • CHEMICALS
  • CONDENSATION
  • ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT
  • GREEN CHEMISTRY
  • ISOPHORONE
  • METRICS
  • MONOOXYGENASES
  • SCALE
  • SUSTAINABILITY
  • biocatalysis
  • life cycle assessment
  • oxidative chemistry
  • process metrics
  • sustainable chemistry

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