Metrology as a Tool to Understand Immobilized Enzyme Catalyzed Ring-Opening Polymerization.
Matthew T. Hunley, Sara V. Orski, Kathryn L. Beers
Enzyme-catalyzed polymerization provides a green alter-native to synthesize biodegradable polyesters over conventional heavy metal catalysts. Heterogeneous catalysis, where the enzyme is immobilized onto solid-supports, allows for easy catalyst removal and can increase the commercial feasibility of biocatalysis with a through understanding of the reaction kinetics and required process conditions. In this mini-review, we describe our comprehensive metrology approach to fully identify key parameters to control enzymatic ring-opening polymerization (ROP) of lactones: development of predictive models of reaction kinetics, experimental models of the catalyst surface micro-environment, and on-line spectroscopic analysis of reaction conversion for polyester homo-polymers and copolymers. Quantitative evaluation of enzymatic ROP will elucidate the advantages and limitations of current enzyme catalyzed polymerizations and aid in the efficient design of better reaction conditions and next generation catalysts.
ACS Symposium Series: Green polymer chemistry - Polymer biocatalysis and biobased materials