Harvesting Nature’s Synthetic Potential for the Manufacturing of Bio-Based Products

PhD defence, Friday 13 October 2023, Philipp Petermeier


In his PhD research, Philipp Petermeier investigated the synthetic capabilities of enzymes, i.e., nature’s molecular machinery that maintains the fine chemical balance in living cells. When deployed in chemical reactors, enzymes can enable environmentally benign and mild strategies to produce products for everyday life. Philipp Petermeier systematically studied how such enzymatic reactions can be run most productively, how they can be effectively integrated with complementary classical chemical syntheses, and how such (chemo)enzymatic processes can contribute to both economic and ecologic manufacturing.

This work includes a vastly more stable enzyme preparation that facilitates a critical step in the bio-based production of the well-known indigo dye for denim garments and also presents a novel process to produce bio-based styrene alternatives as polymer precursors. The latter has already been demonstrated on a 1 kg scale.

The PhD study was completed at the Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University and was funded by the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) as an European Industrial Doctorates programme. Within this framework, the conducted 18 months of his research at the company SpinChem AB in Umeå, Sweden.

The PhD thesis is available for reading at the Graduate School of Technical Sciences/GSTS, Jens Baggesens Vej 53, building 5221, 8200 Aarhus N.

Details of the public PhD defense

Friday, 13 October 2023 at 13:00 h

Building 1531, room 119 Auditorium D2, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, Ny Munkegade 116, 8000 Aarhus C

Title of PhD thesis:
Process Engineering of Cascade Strategies for the Synthesis of Indigo Dye and Hydroxystyrene Monomers

Main supervisor:
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Selin Kara, Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering, Aarhus University, Denmark

Dr. Emil Byström, CEO SpinChem AB, Umeå, Sweden

The PhD dissertation will be defended in English


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