Research Topic

Biocatalytic Synthesis of Biobased Furan-Derived Chemicals, Fuels and Materials: Toward Sustainable Biorefineries

About this Research Topic

Current resource and environmental issues (e.g., fossil resource crisis and global warming) motivate the production of bio-based chemicals, fuels and materials from abundant, renewable and carbon-neutral biomass, e.g. lignocellulose. It is estimated that 120-150 billion tons of cellulose are annually biosynthesized. Hemicellulose is the second most common polysaccharide in nature. Xylan constitutes the major component of hemicellulose. The emergence of biorefineries is triggering a renaissance in carbohydrate chemistry.

Furans, top-value bio-based platform chemicals, are directly accessible from carbohydrates. Over the last decades, catalytic synthesis of bio-based furans and furan-derived chemicals, fuels, and materials from biomass has attracted tremendous interest. To develop sustainable biorefineries, biomass conversion and valorization should be based on green catalytic techniques. In this respect, biocatalysis appears to be advantageous over its chemical counterpart, due to the use of environmentally friendly catalysts, mild reaction conditions and exquisite selectivity. Furthermore, enzymatic processes may be combined with other sustainable catalytic concepts, creating synergistic chemoenzymatic processes that may represent an attractive and promising option to complement biotransformations.

The Topic Editors encourage submissions of Original Research, Review, Mini Review and Perspective articles. The themes covered in this Research Topic include but are not limited to:

 • Green catalytic routes toward biobased furans, and furan-derived chemicals, fuels and materials (e.g., enzyme catalysis, whole-cell catalysis, organo/biocatalysis, photo/biocatalysis, electro/biocatalysis, etc.)
 • Reaction engineering strategies for improving processes (e.g., substrate engineering, medium engineering, fed-batch operation, bioreactor engineering, and downstream processing, etc.)
 • Discovery and characterization of the key enzymes for target transformations
 • Biocatalyst engineering strategies for improving catalytic performances (e.g., genetic engineering, metabolic engineering, direct evolution, protein engineering, immobilization, and synthetic biology etc.).
 • Mechanistic insights into the toxicity and inhibition of aromatic chemicals (e.g., furans, phenols) toward biocatalysts


Keywords: biobased furans, biocatalysis, biocatalyst engineering, bioreactor, biofuels, reaction engineering, renewable materials


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Current resource and environmental issues (e.g., fossil resource crisis and global warming) motivate the production of bio-based chemicals, fuels and materials from abundant, renewable and carbon-neutral biomass, e.g. lignocellulose. It is estimated that 120-150 billion tons of cellulose are annually biosynthesized. Hemicellulose is the second most common polysaccharide in nature. Xylan constitutes the major component of hemicellulose. The emergence of biorefineries is triggering a renaissance in carbohydrate chemistry.

Furans, top-value bio-based platform chemicals, are directly accessible from carbohydrates. Over the last decades, catalytic synthesis of bio-based furans and furan-derived chemicals, fuels, and materials from biomass has attracted tremendous interest. To develop sustainable biorefineries, biomass conversion and valorization should be based on green catalytic techniques. In this respect, biocatalysis appears to be advantageous over its chemical counterpart, due to the use of environmentally friendly catalysts, mild reaction conditions and exquisite selectivity. Furthermore, enzymatic processes may be combined with other sustainable catalytic concepts, creating synergistic chemoenzymatic processes that may represent an attractive and promising option to complement biotransformations.

The Topic Editors encourage submissions of Original Research, Review, Mini Review and Perspective articles. The themes covered in this Research Topic include but are not limited to:

 • Green catalytic routes toward biobased furans, and furan-derived chemicals, fuels and materials (e.g., enzyme catalysis, whole-cell catalysis, organo/biocatalysis, photo/biocatalysis, electro/biocatalysis, etc.)
 • Reaction engineering strategies for improving processes (e.g., substrate engineering, medium engineering, fed-batch operation, bioreactor engineering, and downstream processing, etc.)
 • Discovery and characterization of the key enzymes for target transformations
 • Biocatalyst engineering strategies for improving catalytic performances (e.g., genetic engineering, metabolic engineering, direct evolution, protein engineering, immobilization, and synthetic biology etc.).
 • Mechanistic insights into the toxicity and inhibition of aromatic chemicals (e.g., furans, phenols) toward biocatalysts


Keywords: biobased furans, biocatalysis, biocatalyst engineering, bioreactor, biofuels, reaction engineering, renewable materials


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 July 2020 Abstract
30 November 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 July 2020 Abstract
30 November 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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