Oxidoreductases form an enzyme class that plays a key role in numerous industrial biotransformations. These enzymes require cofactors (e.g. reduced form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH)). Since their cost is high, at an industrial scale continuous cofactor regeneration is utilized. This is currently done with the help of a sacrificial substrate (e.g. glucose). In bioelectrochemical processes, renewable energy is used instead of sacrificial carbohydrates, contributing to a higher sustainability compared to state-of-the-art processes.
Electroenzymatic processes combine the high selectivity of enzymes as biocatalysts with the electrochemical regeneration of their cofactors. This holds potential for the development of new biotechnological processes for fine and bulk chemicals. In this project, which is embedded in the priority programme of the German Research Foundation "Bioelectrochemical and Engineering Foundations for Establishing Electrobiotechnology for Biosynthesis - Power to Value-added Products (eBiotech) (SPP 2240), the current bottlenecks of electroenzymatic processes such as product scale, productivity and efficiency of cofactor regeneration are addressed.