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Integrated Biocatalytic Platform Based on Aqueous Biphasic Systems for the Sustainable Oligomerization of Rutin

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journal contribution
posted on 14.07.2021, 12:05 by Abel Muñiz-Mouro, Ana M. Ferreira, João A. P. Coutinho, Mara G. Freire, Ana P. M. Tavares, Patricia Gullón, Sara González-García, Gemma Eibes
Rutin is a known antioxidant compound that displays a broad range of biological activities and health-related benefits but presents a low water solubility that can be overcome by its polymerization. In this work, biocompatible aqueous biphasic systems composed of the ionic liquid cholinium dihydrogen phosphate ([CH]­[DHph]) and the polymer poly­(ethylene glycol) 600 (PEG 600) were investigated as an efficient integrated reaction–separation platform for the laccase-catalyzed oligomerization of rutin. Two different approaches were studied to reuse laccase in several oligorutin production cycles, the main difference between them being the use of monophasic or biphasic regimes during the oligomerization reaction. The use of a biphasic regime in the second approach (heterogeneous reaction medium) allowed the successful reuse of the biocatalyst in three consecutive reaction–separation cycles while achieving noteworthy rutin oligomerization yields (95% in the first cycle, 91% in the second cycle, and 89% in the last cycle). These remarkable results were caused by the combination of the increased solubility of rutin in the PEG-rich phase together with the enhanced catalytic performance of laccase in the [Ch]­[DHph]-rich phase, alongside with the optimization of the pH of the reaction medium straightly linked to enzyme stability. Finally, a life-cycle assessment was performed to compare this integrated reaction–separation platform to three alternative processes, reinforcing its sustainability.