Enzyme immobilization on/in polymeric membranes: status, challenges and perspectives in biocatalytic membrane reactors (BMRs)
Immobilization of enzymes is beneficial in terms of improving the process economics by enabling enzyme re-use and enhancing overall productivity and robustness. Increasingly, membranes are thought to be good supports for enzyme immobilization. These resulting biocatalytic membranes are integrated in reactors known as biocatalytic membrane reactors (BMRs) which enable the integration of biocatalysis and separation. Often the available commercial membranes require modifications to make them suitable for enzyme immobilization. Different immobilization techniques can be used on such suitable membranes, but no general rules exist for making a choice between them. Despite the advantages of BMR application, there are some issues which need to be addressed in order to achieve up-scaling of such systems. In this review, the different aspects of enzyme immobilization on membranes are discussed to show the complexity of this interdisciplinary technology. In addition, the existing issues which require further investigation are highlighted.