Cleas, combi-cleas and ‘smart’ magnetic cleas: Biocatalysis in a bio-based economy

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Biocatalysis has emerged in the last decade as a pre-eminent technology for enabling the envisaged transition to a more sustainable bio-based economy. For industrial viability it is essential that enzymes can be readily recovered and recycled by immobilization as solid, recyclable catalysts. One method to achieve this is via carrier-free immobilization as cross-linked enzyme aggregates (CLEAs). This methodology proved to be very effective with a broad selection of enzymes, in particular carbohydrate-converting enzymes. Methods for optimizing CLEA preparations by, for example, adding proteic feeders to promote cross-linking, and strategies for making the pores accessible for macromolecular substrates are critically reviewed and compared. Co-immobilization of two or more enzymes in combi-CLEAs enables the cost-effective use of multiple enzymes in biocatalytic cascade processes and the use of “smart” magnetic CLEAs to separate the immobilized enzyme from other solids has raised the CLEA technology to a new level of industrial and environmental relevance. Magnetic-CLEAs of polysaccharide-converting enzymes, for example, are eminently suitable for use in the conversion of first and second generation biomass.

Original languageEnglish
Article number341
Number of pages31
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Biocatalysis
  • Biomass conversion
  • CLEAs
  • Combi-CLEAs
  • Cross-linking
  • Enzymatic cascades
  • Enzymes
  • Immobilization
  • Magnetic CLEAs
  • Polysaccharides

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