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

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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.

    Research areas

  • 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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Details

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