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Applications and Mechanisms of Ionic Liquids in Whole-Cell Biotransformation

by Lin-Lin Fan 1, Hong-Ji Li 1 and Qi-He Chen 1,2,*
Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
Fuli Institute of Food Science, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(7), 12196-12216;
Received: 20 May 2014 / Revised: 13 June 2014 / Accepted: 1 July 2014 / Published: 9 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ionic Liquids 2014 & Selected Papers from ILMAT 2013)
Ionic liquids (ILs), entirely composed of cations and anions, are liquid solvents at room temperature. They are interesting due to their low vapor pressure, high polarity and thermostability, and also for the possibility to fine-tune their physicochemical properties through modification of the chemical structures of their cations or anions. In recent years, ILs have been widely used in biotechnological fields involving whole-cell biotransformations of biodiesel or biomass, and organic compound synthesis with cells. Research studies in these fields have increased from the past decades and compared to the typical solvents, ILs are the most promising alternative solvents for cell biotransformations. However, there are increasing limitations and new challenges in whole-cell biotransformations with ILs. There is little understanding of the mechanisms of ILs’ interactions with cells, and much remains to be clarified. Further investigations are required to overcome the drawbacks of their applications and to broaden their application spectrum. This work mainly reviews the applications of ILs in whole-cell biotransformations, and the possible mechanisms of ILs in microbial cell biotransformation are proposed and discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: ionic liquids (ILs); whole-cell catalysis; mechanism; biotransformation ionic liquids (ILs); whole-cell catalysis; mechanism; biotransformation
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Fan, L.-L.; Li, H.-J.; Chen, Q.-H. Applications and Mechanisms of Ionic Liquids in Whole-Cell Biotransformation. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15, 12196-12216.

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