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Current Green Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 2213-3461
ISSN (Online): 2213-347X

Review Article

Recent Advances on the Use of 2-methyltetrahydrofuran (2-MeTHF) in Biotransformations

Author(s): Andres R. Alcantara* and Pablo Dominguez de Maria*

Volume 5, Issue 2, 2018

Page: [86 - 103] Pages: 18

DOI: 10.2174/2213346105666180727100924


2-methyltetrahydrofuran (2-MeTHF) has become a broadly used (biogenic) solvent in organic synthesis, particularly with promising applications in biocatalysis, due to its excellent behaviour and favourable properties. 2-MeTHF may be derived from renewable sources - such as furfural or levulinic acid and its low water solubility facilitates its complete recovery in reactions in aqueous media, reducing wastes and simplifying the recycling and reuse. 2-MeTHF properties typically outperform those of traditional solvents (such as THF), enabling its application in a wide range of chemical and enzymatic synthetic processes. Remarkably, this trend can be observed not only in academia, but also at industrial scale, where companies start to assess 2-MeTHF for the replacement of non-GRAS solvents (Generally Regarded As Safe). Given that increasing importance, this mini-review discusses the recent advances in biocatalysis using 2-MeTHF, with applications for different enzymes (hydrolases, oxidoreductases, lyases, etc.), as well as in innovative combinations such as gas-liquid mixtures (CO2-2-MeTHF expanded phase), in multi-step enzymatic systems, and flow biocatalysis. The combination of 2-MeTHF with the intrinsic sustainability associated with biotransformations creates an attractive synergy.

Keywords: 2-methyltetrahydrofuran, biogenic solvents, biocatalysis, biotransformations, green chemistry, API.

Graphical Abstract

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