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Biocatalysis (BOC)

Biocatalysis (BOC)

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Contact Details

Contact: Prof. Ulf Hanefeld

Find available thesis projects here and here

Research Group Information

We all have experienced way too often that we had to wait endlessly before something happens. And when it finally happened the results was below expectations. Fortunately there is a solution to this problem: catalysis. Many reactions are slow and on top of that also unselective; i.e. it is tedious to isolate the product. Catalysis speeds up reactions so that one does not have to wait and the type of catalysis that speeds up reactions the most is biocatalysis. Additionally biocatalysis is also extremely selective. Therefore essentially no side reactions occur and the products are pure. No tedious work up, just nice and clean product. At BOC we come up with all those nice, clean and green reactions that enable environmental benign production of sustainable products.  

At BOC we look at catalysis and enzymes from all angles:

  • How to apply enzymes in industrial processes
  • Enzymes for reactions that are difficult for chemists
  • How do they work is studied and much fundamental knowledge is generated
  • How best to produce the enzymes
  • How to modify the enzyme to make it work better in the (industrial) process we are studying
  • How to engineer the enzyme
  • How to engineer the reaction using batch or continuous reactions

Additionally we develop methods and techniques. This allows us to follow very fast reactions, challenges for all engineers that like to build equipment and then apply it. We house the NMR and EPR equipment of the university and perform cutting edge research in these areas, both on enzymes and more directed towards medicinal applications.

BEP and MEP students from MST, BN, CE and LST have contributed greatly to our research effort over the years. Indeed, they shape it and carry it forward, pushing the boundaries of science and technology. This is recognized by our students being co-authors on papers and patents and even being first authors on papers that describe their discoveries. And it is prominently recognized by our students winning prizes as best students of the faculty or nationally the Akzo Nobel prize for the best chemist/chemical engineer.


Royal Haskoning