Plasma Biocatalysis - Enzymatic Oxidation of Organic Compounds Using Discharge Plasma

Ref.-Nr. 5221

Keywords: streoselective oxidation, plasma discharge, biocatalysis, fine chemicals

Enzymatic reactions offer the possibility to synthesize new molecules with high selectivity and turnover. Of particular interest are regio- or even stereo-selective oxidation reactions in order to obtain high value compounds. Peroxygenases are valuable biocatalysts to achive this goal since they use H2O2 through the so called “peroxide shunt pathway”, eliminating the need for expensive electron donors, such as flavins or nicotinamide cofactors. However, the industrial application of peroxidases or peroxygenases is limited due to their partial or complete inactivation in the presence of higher concentrations of peroxides. Several strategies have been developed in order to supply low concentrations of H2O2 in situ. However, all of these known methods are either inefficient or require the addition of extra components to the reaction, making them less efficient and more expensive.

The present invention provides a solution to this challenge. A plama device is employed to produce H2O2 in an aqueous solution in situ. The “activated” solution is guided to immobilized peroxidases or peroxygenases where the actual enzymatic oxidation of the substrate takes place. The inventors can show that selectivity of the enzymes is retained and stability of the immobilized enzyme ist high.

Employing UPO from the fungus Agrocybe aegerita as oxygenase and ethylbenzene as substrate, the inventors could show feasability of this approach.


  • New access to enzymatic oxidations in aqueous solution
  • Selectivity of enzyme is retained
  • Control over H2O2 concentration through control of plasma discharge
  • Works with immobilized enzyme

Kommerzielle Anwendung

The present invention is available for licensing and further co-development.

Aktueller Stand

The invention has been validated in a relevant environment and achieves a TRL 4. A patent application has been filed; WO 2020/007576 A1.

Relevante Veröffentlichungen

A. Yayci, A. Baraibar, M. Krewing, E. Fernandez Fueyo, F. Hollmann, M. Alcalde, R. Kourist, J. Bandow, Plasma-driven in situ production of hydrogen peroxide for biocatalysis, ChemSusChem 13, 2072 (2020).

A. Yayci, T. Dirks, F. Kogelheide, M Alcalde, F. Hollmann, P. Awakowicz, J. Bandow, Microscale atmospheric pressure plasma jet as a source for plasma‐driven biocatalysis, ChemCatChem, DOI 10.1002/cctc.202001225 .

An invention of Ruhr-Universität Bochum.

Dr. Wolfram Schleich
+49 208 9410535