Publication Details

Nguyen, L. N., Hai, F. I., McDonald, J. A., Khan, S. J., Price, W. E. & Nghiem, L. D. (2017). Continuous transformation of chiral pharmaceuticals in enzymatic membrane bioreactors for advanced wastewater treatment. Water Science and Technology, 76 (7), 1816-1826.


This study demonstrates continuous enantiomeric inversion and further biotransformation of chiral profens including ibuprofen, naproxen and ketoprofen by an enzymatic membrane bioreactor (EMBR) dosed with laccase. The EMBR showed non-enantioselective transformations, with high and consistent transformation of both (R)- and (S)-ibuprofen (93 ± 6%, n = 10), but lower removals of both enantiomers of naproxen (46 ± 16%, n = 10) and ketoprofen (48 ± 17%, n = 10). Enantiomeric analysis revealed a bidirectional but uneven inversion of the profens, for example 14% inversion of (R)- to (S)- compared to 4% from (S)- to (R)-naproxen. With redox-mediator addition, the enzymatic chiral inversion of both (R)- and (S)-profens remained unchanged, although the overall conversion became enantioselective; except for (S)-naproxen, the addition of redox mediator promoted the degradation of (R)-profens only.



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