Full title

Development of Electrochemical Reactors Using Dehydrogenases for Enantiopure Synthon Preparations


Collaborative project (Small or medium-scale focused research project)

Contract number

NMP3-SL-2008-213 487


The aim of the project is the development of electrochemical reactors for the manufacture of fine chemicals with dehydrogenases as a process with almost zero waste emission. The production of enantio pure compounds with high EE’s can be achieved by using dehydrogenases as biocatalysts, because they express high enantio selectivity in ketone reduction, combined with broad substrate spectra by some of these enzymes. These proteins will be engineered for improved catalytic performance using the tools of molecular evolution, modelling, structure prediction, and crystallography. As these dehydrogenases typically require cosubstrate regeneration by aid of a second enzymatic reaction, we are looking for the alternative solution of an electrochemical approach for the regeneration of reduced cofactors. If all active compounds can be functionally immobilized on the electrode surface the constructed reactor would convert the educt in the input flow to the product in the output flow avoiding any contaminations. All necessary components like the mediator, the cofactor and the dehydrogenase will be bound to nano or meso structured electrodes (for increased active surface area) resulting in biofunctionalised surfaces with tailored properties at the nanoscale. Optimization of the electrode materials and surfaces, of the mediators and the required spacers as well as the surface bound dehydrogenase activities will result in electrochemical reactor moduls which can deliver enantio pure synthons


36 months (01/07/2008 – 30/06/2011)

Project funding

2,749,909.00 €


Saarland University
Department of Physical Chemistry

Prof. Dr. Rolf Hempelmann
66123 Saarbrücken, Germany
Phone: +49 681 302 4750


Saarland University
Department of Applied Microbiology

Dr. Gert-Wieland Kohring
66123 Saarbrücken, Germany
Phone: +49-681-302-3657


  • Saarland University, Germany
    Department of Applied Microbiology (Prof. Friedrich Giffhorn)
  • Ecole Nationale Sepérieure de Chimie et de Physique de Bordeaux, France
    Department of Analytical Chemistry (Prof. Alexander Kuhn)
  • Centre national de la Recherche Scientifique, France
    Laboratory of Physical Chemistry and Microbiology for the Environment (Prof. Alain Walcarius)
  • University of Copenhagen, Denmark
    Department of Biophysical Chemistry (Pr. Lo Leggio)
    Department of Bioinformatics (Prof. Jensen)
  • Middle East Technical University, Turkey
    Department of Bioorganic Chemistry (Prof. Ayhan Demir)
  • Cambrex IEP GmbH, Germany
    Biocatalysis & Chiral Compounds (Dr. Antje Gupta)

Contact at Eurice

Dr. Vera Schneider
Senior Programme Manager
Phone: +49 681 9592 3385

Project website