Catalytic Oxidations in a Bio-Based Economy

Roger A. Sheldon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
55 Downloads (Pure)


The role of bio- and chemo-catalytic aerobic oxidations in the production of commodity chemicals in a bio-refinery is reviewed. The situation is fundamentally different to that in a petrochemicals refinery where the feedstocks are gaseous or liquid hydrocarbons that are oxidized at elevated temperatures in the vapor or liquid phase under solvent-free conditions. In contrast, the feedstocks in a biorefinery are carbohydrates that are water soluble solids and their conversion will largely involve aerobic oxidations of hydroxyl functional groups in water as the solvent under relatively mild conditions of temperature and pressure. This will require the development and use of cost-effective and environmentally attractive processes using both chemo- and biocatalytic methods for alcohols and polyols.

Original languageEnglish
Article number132
JournalFrontiers in Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • alcohol oxidases
  • bio-based economy
  • biocatalysis
  • biomass
  • carbohydrates
  • catalytic oxidation
  • waste valorization


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