Let me set you a challenge. Can you pick up laundry detergents from the water after clothes washing? Difficult, isn’t it? The same problem faces chemists who want to remove detergents from detergent-assisted emulsions in a chemical reaction. To solve this isolation problem, my group designs new types of emulsions, i.e., Pickering emulsions and polymeric emulsions using particles and polymers as “detergents”, for not only enzyme catalysis in the emulsions but also easy recycling after the reactions.
For Pickering emulsion catalysis, my group aims at the tailored nanoparticles/microparticles that forms stable Pickering emulsion while allowing for facile separation of particles. We developed these Pickering emulsions for enzyme catalysis not only in aqueous media, but also in water-free conditions. Besides, we modify enzymes (particles) with polymers as the “detergents” for Pickering interfacial biocatalysis.
Furthermore, my group develops several polymeric emulsions that are tailored for the individual biocatalytic purpose. For example, we use poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(ε−caprolactone) as an emulsifier to achieve emulsions for large-scale, enantiopure benzoin production. We also prepare polymers containing stimuli-responsive or active species for responsive and active emulsions in biocatalysis with easy recycling, respectively.
Therefore, we have collectively showcased that particles or polymers are recyclable emulsifiers for efficient emulsion biocatalysis, and their exploration for future industry process is envisioned.
About Changzhu Wu
Changzhu wu also serves as an editorial board member for Journal of Critical Review and was a leading guest editor for Journal of Nanomaterials.
Prior to joining SDU, he was a group leader (Habilitand) at Institute of Microbiology, Technical University of Dresden (TUD). Changzhu has a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin) and received his postdoctoral training from the Frei Universität Berlin (FU Berlin).
Changzhu is focusing his research on “NanoBiocatalysis”, where he uses cutting-edge nanomaterials to improve the performance of enzymes/whole cells, in particular for synthesis in organic solvents.
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