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Combination of Chemo- and Biocatalysis: Conversion of Biomethane to Methanol and Formic Acid

1
Leibniz Institute for Catalysis at the University of Rostock, Albert-Einstein-Str. 29a, D-18059 Rostock, Germany
2
Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB, Nobelstraße 12, D-70569 Stuttgart, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(14), 2798; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9142798
Received: 14 June 2019 / Revised: 5 July 2019 / Accepted: 9 July 2019 / Published: 12 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Methanol Production from Biomass)
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Abstract

In the present day, methanol is mainly produced from methane via reforming processes, but research focuses on alternative production routes. Herein, we present a chemo-/biocatalytic oxidation cascade as a novel process to currently available methods. Starting from synthetic biogas, in the first step methane was oxidized to formaldehyde over a mesoporous VOx/SBA-15 catalyst. In the second step, the produced formaldehyde was disproportionated enzymatically towards methanol and formic acid in equimolar ratio by formaldehyde dismutase (FDM) obtained from Pseudomonas putida. Two processing routes were demonstrated: (a) batch wise operation using free formaldehyde dismutase after accumulating formaldehyde from the first step and (b) continuous operation with immobilized enzymes. Remarkably, the chemo-/biocatalytic oxidation cascades generate methanol in much higher productivity compared to methane monooxygenase (MMO) which, however, directly converts methane. Moreover, production steps for the generation of formic acid were reduced from four to two stages. View Full-Text
Keywords: selective oxidation; molecular VOx catalysts; formaldehyde dismutase; methanol; formic acid selective oxidation; molecular VOx catalysts; formaldehyde dismutase; methanol; formic acid
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Kunkel, B.; Seeburg, D.; Peppel, T.; Stier, M.; Wohlrab, S. Combination of Chemo- and Biocatalysis: Conversion of Biomethane to Methanol and Formic Acid. Appl. Sci. 2019, 9, 2798.

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