During the past decade there has been increasing interest in the use of biocatalysts (enzymes or cells) for the transformation of synthetic or natural materials with high selectivity (chemo-, regio- and stereoselectivity). At least three advantageous features have contributed to the development of biocatalytic processes. In the first place, relatively mild reaction conditions are sufficient to run enzyme-catalysed reactions; this feature reduces energy requirements. In addition, environmental safety and cleanliness due to the use of low salt and low metal concentrations, together with a decreased of by-product formation, contribute to achieve environmentally friendly processes. Secondly, the importance of chirality in the efficiency of many drugs and the stereochemical properties of biocatalysts have led to the development of excellent biocatalyst useful in asymmetric synthesis. Some of these novel and versatile biocatalysts are obtained by mutagenesis and directed evolution. Both types of research require accurate and fast methods to choose the right stereoselective biocatalysts. Lastly the area of biocatalysis in nonaqueous media has grown immensely over the last few decades since it was proven that most enzymes can function extremely well under anhydrous conditions, displaying a number of useful properties such as enhanced stability and different substrate selectivity. Therefore, the search for new environmentally benign solvents and biocatalyst that operate efficiently in them and can be easily recycled is of significant industrial interest. Recently, there has been a variety of attempts to exploit some of the properties of green solvents in combination with the benefits of using biocatalysts to develop cleaner synthetic processes, and these are discussed in this review, focusing mainly on the application of hydrolases (proteases, lipases and glycosidases) in industrial processes.
Keywords: Biocatalyst, fluorinated solvents, immobilization of enzymes, ionic liquids (ILs), green chemistry, solvent from biomass, green solvents, supercritical fluids (SCFs), chirality, ORGANIC SOLVENTS, racemization, dynamic kinetic resolution, Bacillus pseudofirmus, Glycosidases, A. oryzae, K. fragilis, Supercritical Fluids, lipid-coated enzymes, cross-linked enzyme crystal, cross-linked enzyme aggregate (CLEAs), 3-O-acetyl-6-O-trityl-β-Dglucopyranoside, 5-phenylpentan-1-ol, lipid-coated β-galactosidase, B. circulans, Candida antartica, kinetic resolution, Candida rugosa lipase., N-acetyllactosamine, Pancreatic lipase, Candida cylindracea, Burkholderia cepacea, Candida antarctica