Biochemical Production with Purified Cell-Free Systems

Joseph Rollin, Yannick Bomble, Peter St. John, Addison Stark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus Citations


Bioprocesses offer a powerful set of opportunities for current chemical process innovation. Such conversions provide opportunities to employ process intensification strategies and the right characteristics to scale down and harness the power of modular process design, but strain engineering and the use of microbial systems for industrial biochemicals production remain unpredictable and expensive. Purified cell-free technologies, in which complex enzyme reaction cascades are used to catalyze bioconversions of interest, can be designed to mitigate these limitations. Such systems allow predictive kinetic modeling and full control of reaction conductions, enabling a dramatically increased design-built-test cycle iteration rate. When sufficiently robust engineered enzymes are used, opportunities to leverage harsh reaction conditions, long-term recycling strategies, and hybridization with chemical catalysis can be used to dramatically improve the value proposition of biochemicals production. Further research is required to realize the potential of these approaches and to address the current platform-limiting challenges around cofactor cost and reuse.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number107002
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical Engineering Journal
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5100-72160


  • Cell-Free
  • Cofactor Engineering
  • Enzyme Recycling
  • Pathway Optimization
  • Synthetic Biology


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