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Alice Pedroni, PhD student at TU Delft

👩‍🔬 I'm Alice Pedroni, a PhD student at TU Delft who will be working on W-enzymes in the research group of Frank Hollmann and Caroline E. Paul. My background is mainly in chemistry, but enzymes have always amazed me with their ability to perform chemically challenging reactions under mild conditions.

💡 Currently, industry doesn't use enzymes to convert carboxylic acids to aldehydes and alcohols because the naturally occurring enzymes require expensive co-substrates such as ATP and NADPH. However, the existence of W-enzymes, which can carry out this conversion efficiently using H2 as an energy source, opens up possibilities for various applications, such as the reduction of CO2 to formic acid or the conversion of benzene derivatives. By using these enzymes with hydrogen power, it's possible to create a process that converts waste materials into useful compounds such as alcohols and aldehydes for cosmetics and flavours.

🔬 Within the W-BioCat project, I will investigate the biocatalytic potential of these W-enzymes. The substrate scope will be systematically characterised to identify the optimal reaction conditions for each substrate and for further scale-up. In addition, new substrates and new reactions catalysed by W-enzymes will be identified to increase their versatility in biotechnological applications.

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