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EC2/BIG-NSE PhD student awarded with prize from the "Forum Junge Spitzenforscher"

Dr. Lars Lauterbach (Second row, second from right), PhD student Ammar Al-Shameri (Front row, far right) Photo: © Alexander Rentsch

We are proud of our EC2/BIG-NSE PhD student Ammar Al-Shameri for his success (4th place) at the "Forum Junge Spitzenforscher-Klimawandel". He is a PhD student in the research team of Dr. Lars Lauterbach at the TU Berlin and works at a highly interdisciplinary project together with Dr. Bettina Nestl, Universität Stuttgart. His work is based in the field of green chemistry and is about "electro-driven synthesis of N-heterocycles". 

The use of biological catalysts is a major tool to perform a greener chemistry and is an important step for lowering the CO2 footprint. However, many biological catalysts require reduced factors to perform regio- and stereo specific substrate conversions. An efficient cofactor regeneration system is required to avoid the stoichiometric addition of reduced cofactors. The use of hydrogenases for these regeneration systems allows efficient H2-driven production without any side-products. H2 is explosive in air, thus our novel approach is based on in-situ H2 synthesis through electrolysis. H2 is only produced in quantities, which are immediately consumed by the biocatalysts for synthesis. This guarantees that no explosive conditions occur.  Electricity for our electro-driven biotransformation can be  generated by solar energy. The aim of our approach is to produce fine chemicals in a sustainable and scalable system in the future.