Combining biological and chemical approaches for green synthesis of chemicals

Pooja Jambunathan, Kechun Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Recent advances have allowed semi-synthetic production of complex pharmaceutical compounds and commodity chemicals by combining chemical and biological approaches. This approach offers several advantages including synthesis of chirally pure precursors for drugs, design of greener and more sustainable production routes for commodity chemicals by eliminating the use of hazardous chemicals and generation of waste and improving overall process efficiencies by reducing total number of steps involved in synthesis. In this review, we will discuss in detail the synthesis of three pharmaceuticals - simvastatin, artemisinin, and warfarin - and two commodity chemicals - β-methyl-δ-valerolactone and butadiene, all of which have wide applications in the pharmaceutical and polymer industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number253
Pages (from-to)35-41
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Chemical Engineering
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under the Center for Sustainable Polymers CHE-1413862 .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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