We're investigating ways to use biological catalysts in industrial processes to reduce waste, energy use and process costs.

The challenge

Improved industrial sustainability for a healthier planet

Improved industrial sustainability has become a global concern over the last few decades, with a clear need for less reliance on petrochemical feedstocks, reduced energy requirements and the reduction or elimination of waste.  Biocatalytic processes provide an excellent solution to many of these issues through harnessing the natural efficiency and selectivity of enzymes.

Our response

Enzyme nanomachines

Nature has evolved enzymes, protein catalysts that are essential for the survival of every living thing on earth, over millions of years to carry out chemical reactions. There are a countless number of these reactions, and as the world continues to evolve, so do the enzymes, responding to the introduction of new molecules with new functions. Biocatalysis is the use of these enzymes (or organisms) in organic synthesis.

We draw on the amazing versatility of natural enzymes to provide new biocatalytic solutions for a variety of applications. We first isolate and study the enzymes and then engineer these enzymes to provide superior bio-based catalysts for a particular application. Sometimes we combine several different enzymes into complex multi-enzyme arrays (or nanofactories) to suit a particular application.

More recently we have begun extending the team’s long-standing expertise in biocatalysis and enzyme engineering to the development of synthetic biology capability. We have progressed from using single enzymes in bioremediation applications, to complex multi-enzyme nanofactories, and then further to the in vivo metabolic engineering of micro-organisms.

Interested in helping us further this research?

We seek research collaborators with complementary skills so we can work together for stronger results.

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