Bioproduction of Fine Chemicals of Natural OriginTechnology #2017-052
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Consumers in the cosmetic, perfume and food industries often prefer the fine chemicals (e.g. flavours and fragrances) used in the product to be obtained from natural sources. However, the extraction of these specialty chemicals from botanical sources is unable to meet consumer demands, leading to a high price for these chemicals. For example, 2-Phenylethanol (2-PE) is a rose-like fragrance, widely used in cosmetic, perfume, and food industries (FEMA-GRAS 2858) with an annual production of 10,000 tones, and mainly produced by chemical synthesis from benzene or styrene. 2-Phenylethanol extracted from natural sources has a selling price of up to USD 1000/kg.
This technology relates to a novel biocatalytic route (pathway) to produce “natural” 2-phenylethanol (2-PE), phenylacetaldehyde (PA), phenylacetic acid (PAA), and phenylethylamine (PEA) from the easily available biobased L-phenylalanine (L-Phe) and glucose (scheme 1), using specially engineered micro-organisms for the biotransformation.
Figure 1: Demonstrated pathway to produce fine chemicals of natural origin using L-phenylalanine as the source.
Possible products that can be obtained via this methodology are shown below.
Product: Phenylethylamine and its derivatives
Product: 2-phenylethanol and its derivatives
Product: Phenylacetic acid and its derivatives
Stage of Development
TRL 4. Technology component validation in laboratory environment
· Synthesis of “natural” 2-phenylethanol (2-PE), phenylacetaldehyde (PA), phenylacetic acid (PAA), and phenylethylamine (PEA) from the easily available biobased L-phenylalanine (L-Phe)
· Synthesis of arylacetic acids and (S)-2-arylpropionic acids directly from easily available styrenes
· Environmentally friendly, highly selective, and high yielding synthesis of terminal amines and alcohols
1. Up to 15 g/L of styrene, the key intermediate, can be produced from bio-based L-phenylalanine.
2. >98% conversion and high regioselectivity to high value products
3. Biotransformation is conducted via recombinant E. Coli cells. The source E.Coli cells are low cost and commonly available.
Patent pending. Available for licensing.