Metgen invents novel chemo-enzymatic route to FDCA


MetGen, a Finnish company specialized in designing and marketing novel enzymatic solutions, has invented a revolutionary chemo-enzymatic pathway that, says the company enables streamlined processes towards platform chemicals. One of these is FDCA.

nMetGen’s ENZINE Technology Platform makes the design and production of the necessary enzymes possible for the full bioconversion of glucose. Until now, the enzymatic solutions required for this have not been commercially available. In the conventional fructose-based process, the conversion between glucose and fructose reaches an equilibrium at less than 50% fructose, which means an additional and inefficient separation step is needed. Using the approach developed by MetGen’s approach, no additional chemicals or co-factors are needed in order to perform the bioconversion. The advantage of this enzymatic reaction stems from the complete conversion of the glucose.

Furthermore, MetGen has filed a patent on the chemical route to convert the resulting sugars to oxidized forms of 5-HMF. In that respect, the dehydration of the MetGen’s bioconversion product is considered to be much more efficient than the dehydration of fructose: This form of sugar is known to have above 90% conversion yields, whereas fructose dehydration has only around 60% yield.

MetGen’s MetZyme enzymatic solutions cover the entire bio-based value chain from feedstock to high-value chemicals and enable the use of cellulosic feedstocks as well as the creation of entirely new bio-based materials. In this context, MetGen’s latest innovation also applies to the conversion of all types of cellulosic sugars to more easily chemically convertible sugars. This is believed to represent a major boost to the cost-competitiveness of any biorefinery concept.

Alex Michine, MetGen CEO, said: “In this context, MetGen’s latest innovation on the nchemo-enzymatic route to oxidized forms of 5-HMF, is a great example of our capacity to enable entire bio-based industries”.
MetGen’s new innovation therefore allows the possibility of dramatically improving the efficiency and economics of renewable chemicals production including, but not limited to, bioplastics. 

On the whole, MetGen’s new innovation therefore provides a possibility of dramatically increasing the efficiency and economics of renewable chemicals including, but not limited to, bioplastics. As such, it is therefore potentially a key accelerator of the displacement of fossil fuels as a feedstock by bio-based alternatives. (KL)