On the Effect of Microwave Energy on Lipase-Catalyzed Polycondensation Reactions

Thomas James Farmer, Alessandro Pellis, Georg Guebitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microwave energy (MWe) is, nowadays, widely used as a clean synthesis tool to improve several chemical reactions, such as drug molecule synthesis, carbohydrate conversion and biomass pyrolysis. On the other hand, its exploitation in enzymatic reactions has only been fleetingly investigated and, hence, further study of MWe is required to reach a precise understanding of its potential in this field. Starting from the authors’ experience in clean synthesis and biocatalyzed reactions, this study sheds light on the possibility of using MWe for enhancing enzyme-catalyzed polycondensation reactions and pre-polymer formation. Several systems and set ups were investigated involving bulk and organic media (solution phase) reactions, different enzymatic preparations and various starting bio-based monomers. Results show that MWe enables the biocatalyzed synthesis of polyesters and pre-polymers in a similar way to that reported using conventional heating with an oil bath, but in a few cases, notably bulk phase polycondensations under intense microwave irradiation, MWe leads to a rapid enzyme deactivation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1245
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sept 2016

Bibliographical note

© 2016, The Author(s).


  • Microwave chemistry
  • polycondensation
  • bio-based polymer
  • Platform molecules
  • bio-based monomers
  • Enzymatic synthesis
  • Bio-based monomers
  • Microwave energy
  • Polycondensation reactions
  • Candida antarctica lipase B
  • Bio-based polymers

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