Sustainable “green” Chemistry


What is biocatalysis?

Biocatalysis, as the name suggests, involves using enzymes or other natural catalysts to carry out chemical reactions. This tends to work well within the context of green chemistry since biological reactions are often catalyzed in water at mild temperatures and pH values. Moreover, enzymes are themselves environmentally benign and obtained from natural sources. In addition to these benefits, biocatalyzed reactions typically proceed with high selectivity and specificity and require relatively few synthetic steps, thus minimizing the amount of unwanted byproducts produced. Some examples of biocatalyzed syntheses are those of penicillins, cephalosporins (another class of antibiotics), and pregabalin (a drug to relieve pain from damaged nerves). The use of biocatalysis is gaining popularity as the necessary technology becomes more readily available and as more people realize the benefits of this approach.


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