Recent Advances on Enzymatic Catalysis as a Powerful Tool for the Sustainable Synthesis of Bio-Based Polyesters

Alessandro Pellis, Gibson Nyanhongo, Thomas James Farmer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The biocatalyzed synthesis of polyesters is a field exploited since the 1980s when the potential of enzymes for catalyzing selective and stereospecific reactions was reported in several breakthrough studies. This chapter focuses on the most recent developments of enzymatic catalysis when applied in the field of bio-based polyester synthesis. A brief introduction summarizes the history and refreshes the memory of the reader on the most relevant reaction mechanisms. Subsequent sections discuss first the possibility of using novel biocatalysts for the synthesis of aliphatic polyesters, moving to polymers where the selectivity of enzymes and their mild reaction conditions are the key of success for producing functional products and ending with aliphatic-aromatic polyesters, highlighting issues and challenges that arose for the polycondensation of these important monomers. Finally, an outlook on the future perspectives and industrialization potential of this technology is given, supporting the ambitions of moving toward a greener polymer chemistry therefore fitting the current needs of moving away from the traditionally used petrochemical monomers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiorefinery
Subtitle of host publicationIntegrated Sustainable Processes for Biomass Conversion to Biomaterials, Biofuels, and Fertilizers
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-10961-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-10960-8
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2019


  • Enzymatic polymerizations
  • Bio-based polyesters
  • Biocatalyzed synthesis
  • Functional polyesters
  • Candida antarctica lipase B (CaLB)
  • Cutinases

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