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Zhejiang team develops photo-chemo-biocatalytic pathway to convert triolein to biogasoline

Researchers from Zhejiang University in China have developed a photo-chemo-enzymatic multi-step combination pathway for the highly efficient and environmentally friendly preparation of biogasoline from cheap and sustainable triolein using solar energy and atmospheric O2 under mild conditions. An open-access paper on the work is published in the RSC journal Green Chemistry.

This whole catalytic sequence is composed of the lipase-catalyzed hydrolysis of triolein; fatty acid photodecarboxylase (CvFAP)-catalyzed decarboxylation of oleic acid; photocatalytic oxidative cleavage of long-chain alkene; and the final decarboxylation of the medium- or short-chain fatty acids catalyzed by CvFAP mutant.


Photo-chemo-biocatalytic sequential reaction. Xu et al.

After optimizing the reaction conditions in detail, the team demonstrated the practicability of the method with a gram-scale experiment.

The team selected triolein as the model substrate for the photo-chemo-biocatalytic preparation of biogasoline from renewable feedstocks because it represents 98-99% of olive oil and up to 80% of high- oleic sunflower oil.

Some critical reaction parameters, such as the lipase source, the photocatalysts structure, and the reaction conditions for the oxidative cleavage step, were optimized in detail, thus realizing the highly efficient transformation of trioleate glyceride into biogasoline alkanes with high total yields and carbon recovery.

…This protocol also showed a wide substrate scope and could be applied to a series of different long-chain unsaturated acids and long-chain alkenes to produce biogasoline. The methodology reported in this study could offer an alternative novel pathway for the green production of biogasoline from natural abundant lipids and the feasible recycling use of nonedible or wasted oil.

—Xu et al.


  • Weihua Xu, Kaihao Mou, Haonan Zhou, Jian Xu and Qi Wu (2022) “Transformation of triolein to biogasoline by photo-chemo-biocatalysis” Green Chem. doi: 10.1039/D2GC01992B


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