Enzyme-photo-coupled catalysis in gas-sprayed microdroplets†
Enzyme-photo-coupled catalysis produces fine chemicals by combining the high selectivity of an enzyme with the green energy input of sunlight. Operating a large-scale system, however, remains challenging because of the significant loss of enzyme activity caused by continuous illumination and the difficulty in utilizing solar energy with high efficiency at large scale. We present a large-scale enzyme-photo-coupled catalysis system based on gas-sprayed microdroplets. By this means, we demonstrate a 43.6–71.5 times improvement of solar energy utilization over that using a traditional bulk processing system. Owing to the improved enzyme activity in microdroplets, we show that chiral alcohols can be produced with up to a 2.2-fold increase in the reaction rate and a 5.6-fold increase in final product concentration.