Zhejiang team develops photo-chemo-biocatalytic pathway to convert triolein into bioessence

Researchers from Zhejiang University in China have developed a multi-step photo-chemo-enzymatic combination pathway for the highly efficient and environmentally friendly preparation of bioessence from cheap and sustainable triolein using the solar energy and atmospheric O2 under mild conditions. An open access article on the work is published in the journal RSC Green chemistry.

This whole catalytic sequence is composed of the lipase-catalyzed hydrolysis of triolein; oleic acid decarboxylation catalyzed by fatty acid photodecarboxylase (CvFAP); photocatalytic oxidative cleavage of long chain alkene; and the final decarboxylation of medium or short chain fatty acids catalyzed by the CvFAP mutant.

Sequential photo-chemo-biocatalytic reaction. Xu et al.

After optimizing the reaction conditions in detail, the team demonstrated the practicability of the method with a gram-scale experiment.

The team selected triolein as a model substrate for the photo-chemo-biocatalytic preparation of bioessence from renewable raw materials because it represents 98-99% of olive oil and up to 80% of olive oil. high oleic sunflower oil.

Some critical reaction parameters, such as lipase source, structure of photocatalysts and reaction conditions for oxidative cleavage step, have been optimized in detail, thus realizing the highly efficient transformation of trioleate glyceride into biogasoline alkanes. with high total yields and carbon recovery.

…This protocol also showed a wide substrate scope and could be applied to a series of different long chain unsaturated acids and long chain alkenes to produce biogasoline. The methodology reported in this study could offer a new alternative route for the green production of biogasoline from abundant natural lipids and the possible use of inedible or wasted oil recycling.

—Xu et al.


  • Weihua Xu, Kaihao Mou, Haonan Zhou, Jian Xu and Qi Wu (2022) “Transformation of triolein into bioessence by photo-chemo-biocatalysis” Green Chemistry. do I: 10.1039/D2GC01992B

Jack C. Nugent