Oxidation reactions with oxygen and peroxides are difficult to control in the
artificial environment of man-made chemistry. This makes oxizymes, i.e. oxidative
enzymes that use oxygen or peroxide as co-substrates, very valuable targets for the
chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Additionally, growing awareness of
sustainability issues in society has encouraged the use of oxizymes in these industries.
Some oxizymes generate hydrogen peroxide as a by-product. Hydrogen peroxide has
antimicrobial effects and is therefore of interest for the food industries as well as other
industries where microorganisms pose a danger to the consumer or patient. Hydrogen
peroxide can also be used as a bleaching agent and thus applications of oxizymes in
the textile industries as well as the pulp and paper industries are common practice.
Oxizymes have recently been found to play an important role as auxiliary enzymes in the degradation of biomass. In this
role, they support carbohydrate active enzymes in the degradation of cellulose and chitin, or assist in the deconstruction of
lignin-derived polymers. They are therefore of importance for the biofuels industry which aims to create biofuels from
renewable plant materials to replace petroleum-based fuels.
Oxizymes have many more properties that make them useful for industrial applications. This review summarizes the
technological advancements, which have made the use of enzymes in industry possible, as well as showcases different
types of oxizymes currently used in different industries. Also, the challenges oxizymes face before their industrial
applications can be fully developed, are discussed.