Towards an enzymatic route to 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid
Rose, Harrison B.
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This research project explored the selection and development of an enzymatic route from the renewable feedstocks furfural and carbon dioxide to 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid, a building block for bio-based polyesters. A putative prenylated flavin-dependent reversible decarboxylase was identified as the most reasonable biocatalyst choice, although it was not isolated in a stable and active form in this work. To support future reaction engineering endeavors, this project also included studies of the aqueous liquid and solid solubility relationships between the reactive pathway intermediates and possible side products: furfural, 2 furancarboxylic acid, 5-formyl-2-furancarboxylic acid, and 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid. Finally, this work included an exploration into the mathematics of pH equilibria in aqueous reaction systems. These mathematical techniques were used to develop tools for assessing such systems by both colorimetric and calorimetric methods.