A Bienzymatic Cascade for the Complete Hydrolysis of Phthalic Acid Esters

Liu Yang, Yunjian Ma*, Yebao Chen, Frank Hollmann, Yonghua Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Phthalic acid esters (PAEs) are widely used as plastic additives to increase the flexibility and durability of plastics. Constantly leaching out from plastics, PAEs are ubiquitously found in the environment. As PAEs exhibit biological activities such as being endocrine disruptive, the quest for efficient degradation strategies continues. Here, we report a bienzymatic degradation system for PAEs to phthalic acid (PA) using a cascade comprising two hydrolases, EstJ6 and P8219. The reaction conditions were optimized with respect to concentrations of both enzymes, temperature, and initial pH. Finally, the substrate scope of the new cascade was investigated, revealing that particularly PAEs with relatively small alcohols were degraded to more than 90 %. This present study provides a potential doable biocatalytic strategy for the complete hydrolysis of PAEs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202201992
Number of pages5
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • cascade
  • degradation
  • hydrolase
  • phthalic acid
  • phthalic acid esters


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