Whole-cell biocatalysis to oxidize naphthalene to 1-naphthol in liquid-liquid biphasic systems was performed. Escherichia coli expressing TOM-Green, a variant of toluene ortho-monooxygenase (TOM), was used for this oxidation. Three different solvents, dodecane, dioctyl phthalate, and lauryl acetate, were screened for biotransformations in biphasic media. Of the solvents tested, lauryl acetate gave the best results, producing 0.72 ± 0.03 g/liter 1-naphthol with a productivity of 0.46 ± 0.02 g/g (dry weight) cells after 48 h. The effects of the organic phase ratio and the naphthalene concentration in the organic phase were investigated. The highest 1-naphthol concentration (1.43 g/liter) and the highest 1-naphthol productivity (0.55 g/g [dry weight] cells) were achieved by optimization of the organic phase. The ability to recycle both free cells and cells immobilized in calcium alginate was tested. Both free and immobilized cells lost more than ∼60% of their activity after the first run, which could be attributed to product toxicity. On a constant-volume basis, an eightfold improvement in 1-naphthol production was achieved using biphasic media compared to biotransformation in aqueous media.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology