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Categories: Organic Chemistry >> Bio >> Biocatalysis

Biotransformations in Organic Chemistry

Kurt Faber

Softcover, 423 Pages
6th Edition, 2011
ISBN: 978-3-642-17392-9


The use of biocatalysts, employed either as isolated enzymes or whole microbial cells, offers a remarkable arsenal of highly selective transformations for state-of-the-art synthetic organic chemistry. Over the last two decades, this methodology has become an indispensable tool for asymmetric synthesis, not only at the academic level, but also on an industrial scale. This well-established textbook on biocatalysis provides a basis for undergraduate and graduate courses in modern organic chemistry, as well as a condensed introduction into this field. After a basic introduction into the use of biocatalysts - principles of stereoselective transformations, kinetics and enzyme properties - the different types of reactions are explained according to the 'reaction principle', such as hydrolysis, reduction, oxidation, C-C bond formation, etc. Special techniques, such as the use of enzymes in organic solvents, immobilization techniques and the use of modified enzymes, are treated in a separate section. A final chapter deals with the basic rules for the safe and practical handling of biocatalysts. In this revised and corrected 5th edition, emphasis has been given to an improved didactic style in order to facilitate a deeper understanding of the underlying principles. New developments, such as dynamic resolution, stereo-inversion and enantio-convergent processes are included.

Editorial Review

The University of Graz is one of the world’s most important centers of competency in biocatalysis. In this book, Kurt Faber, who holds the position of Dozent at this institution, has produced an outstanding teaching aid in the area of biotransformations. Kinetics, equilibria, and their effects on selectivity and enantioselectivity are explained in careful detail, with interesting reactions provided to exemplify these concepts.

This book is not a reference work, though, since it includes explanations of the many reaction classes (such as hydrolysis, reduction, oxidation, etc.), but limits its in-depth focus to a few impressive transformations. Nonetheless, it enumerates all of the most important aspects, and in this regard will be of interest to the researcher who wishes to begin working in the field of biotransformations.

This book is a must for everyone with an abiding interest in this topic. The coverage of both the basic principles and more advanced theory, in addition to the abundance of examples provided, make “Biotransformations in Organic Chemistry” an eminently commendable work.


Introduction and Background Information: Introduction; Common Prejudices Against Enzymes; Advantages and Disadvantages of Biocatalysts; Enzyme Properties and Nomenclature.- Biocatalytic Applications: Hydrolytic Reactions; Reduction Reactions; Oxidation Reactions; Formation of Carbon-Carbon Bonds; Addition and Elimination Reactions; Glycosyl-Transfer Reactions; Halogenation and Dehalogenation Reactions.- Special Techniques: Enzymes in Organic Solvents; Immobilization; Modified and Artificial Enzymes.- State of the Art and Outlook.- Appendix: Basic Rules for Handling Biocatalysts; Abbreviations; Suppliers of Enzymes; Commonly Used Enzyme Preparations; Major Culture Collections; Pathogenic Bacteria and Fungi.