ISSN: ISSN: 2329-6674
Francisco Javier Deive Herva
Department of Chemistry Engineering
University of Vigo, Spain
After my degrees in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, I started to investigate the production of enzymes from mesophilic microorganisms, tackling different cultivation modes (free cells and immobilized cells), bioreactor configurations, microbial modelling and operation modes. Usually, the bottleneck of any industrial process to obtain enzymes is the biological reaction and the downstream processing, and the design of efficient operation units is crucial to make biotechnology competitive against the traditional processes. For these reasons, my first scientific contributions dealt with the study of the operating conditions for maximizing lipase synthesis. These enzymes have shown an enormous industrial potential in a wide range of sectors, going from detergents to dairy and bread-making industries, and making up the third group of enzymes in terms of sales. After having detected some important limitations of biomolecules obtained from mesophiles, such as deactivation or denaturation at conventional operating conditions used in industrial processes, I started my PhD in the field of extremophiles. The use of enzymes produced by these microorganisms allows circumventing the typical drawbacks of mesophilic enzymes due to their naturally developed resistance to drastic reaction conditions. Since this, the screening for thermostable enzymes from microorganisms adapted to living in extreme environments is thus an important way to find the right biocatalysts for desired reactions. This aspect was extensively tackled during my PhD thesis, including also a fruitful study stay in the Institut fÃ¼r Technische Mikrobiologie der Technische UniversitÃ¤t Hamburg-Harburg, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Dr.h.c. Antranikian, one of the most renowned groups in this field. Finally, my posdoc period (2 years at the Institute of Chemical and Biological Technology in Lisbon) was focused on the introduction of a group of neoteric solvents, called ionic liquids, for biotechnological purposes. The widely renowned experience of the host institute in the ionic liquids field is demonstrated by the important contributions carried out by group of Prof. Dr. LuÃs Paulo Rebelo, one of the most outstanding leaders within the world of ionic liquids, with publications in the very best journals such as Nature, Chemical Society Reviews, or Green Chemistry.
The current investigations are devoted to the extraction of enzymes from conventional aqueous solutions media where they are usually produced by biological processes. Currently, I am working on the effect of ionic liquids on enzymes, trying to elucidate the effect of these molten salts on both the struture and biocatalytic activity of enzymes such as lipases, amylases and phytases.