ARC Superzym

Application of enzymatic synthesis in supercritical carbon dioxide to plant biomass raw materials

Concerted Research Action

2008-2013 | 4 Phd | € 1.017.651

The project aims to synthesise, via enzymatic catalysis, high-value added surfactants from starting materials delivered by bio-refineries. Some are intended for the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries and others are destined to be used as surfactants for supercritical CO2 (scCO2) / water interfaces.

The project aims to develop the use of green solvents (scCO2 and ionic liquids) for enzymatic catalysis. Supercritical fluids exhibit peculiar properties that combine those of liquids and gases. By adjusting both their pressure and temperature it is notably possible to finely tune their solvent strength and the solubility of the reactants in the medium. scCO2 is the most commonly used and its critical conditions are compatible with enzymes. Ionic liquids are composed solely of ions, are liquid at room temperature, lack vapor pressure and remain liquid within a broad range of temperature. Their properties can be tuned by a suitable combination of anions and cations.

The major physico-chemical properties of the synthesised surfactants are studied. Their different activities such as their ability to interact with biological membranes or their emulsification power are also determined in view to identify their future application fields.

National contribution

Unité de Chimie Biologique Industrielle
Coordinateur du projet : Pr Michel PAQUOT
Dr Magali DELEU
Dr Katherine NOTT
Doctorante Pauline SAINVITU

Unité de Chimie Générale et Organique
Doctorante Nadine GALONDEM

Unité de Technologie des Industries Agro-Alimentaires
Pr Christophe BLECKER
Centre d’Etude et de Recherche sur les Macromolécules
Pr Christine JERÔME
Doctorant Cédric BOYERE



Biomass and Green Technologies
University of Liege - Gembloux Agro Bio Tech
Passage des déportés, 2
5030 Gembloux
Tel: +32 81 62 22 31
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