The application of reaction engineering to biocatalysis
Biocatalysis is a growing area of synthetic and process chemistry with the ability to deliver not only improved processes for the synthesis of existing compounds, but also new routes to new compounds. In order to assess the many options and strategies available to an engineer developing a new biocatalytic process, it is essential to carry out a systematic evaluation to progress rapidly and ensure decisions are made on firm foundations. In this way, directed development can be carried out and the chances of implementation of a commercially successful process can be much improved. In this review we outline the benefits of reaction engineering in this development process, with particular emphasis of reaction kinetics. Future research needs to focus on rapid methods to collect such data at sufficient accuracy that it can be used for the effective design of new biocatalytic processes.