Innovating for the health of the planet

Engineered enzymes developed with sustainability and environmental health in mind can enable new industrial products and processes. To reduce waste and energy consumption, we are applying our knowledge in areas such as plastic recycling, waste upcycling, and consumer care solutions.

Tailored enzymes outperform

Enzymes designed and developed for specific applications can increase product performance and process efficiency while reducing energy consumption. From conception to commercialization, we work with partners to supply fit-for-purpose enzymes to support all stages of product growth. Together, we optimize for performance and cost - whether that be creating a new process enabled by a novel enzyme, adding an enzyme to supercharge a formerly fully chemical process, or simply incrementally improving cost-of-goods by replacing a general-purpose enzyme with one tailored to the specific constraints of an installed process.

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Challenge

Industrial producers continually seek to differentiate products with new functionality and sustainable production practices, all while operating under constant pressure to improve yield and quality. Whether as processing aids for feedstocks and intermediates or actives in finished consumer goods, engineered enzymes can create processes and products that reduce consumption of petrochemicals, water, and energy. Produced biologically by fermentation, enzymes and their products support clean labels in finished consumer products. Codexis enzymes can enable cost-effective and green processes in otherwise underserved markets.

Opportunities

Reduce metal

Enzymes can replace metal catalysts in bulk chemical synthesis. Engineered for stability at extremes of temperature and pH, cosolvents, and high substrate loadings, enzymes can improve product yields. They can also enable use of unrefined substrates, reducing feedstock purification needs and cost because of their substrate selectivity

Plastic recycling

Mechanical recycling, when possible, often yields plastic resins of low quality and restricted use.  Enzymatic recycling has the potential to regenerate monomer feedstocks from end-of-life polymers, which can then be used to create virgin polymers of the starting plastic (recycling) or even higher value materials (upcycling).

Waste diversion

Minimizing waste is critical for operational and ecological efficiency in industrial scale processes. Enzymes like carbonic anhydrase can be engineered to convert harmful waste into valuable feedstocks. With intensive engineering, they can be evolved to work under the extreme conditions needed, and with lifetimes that support economical, large-scale processes.

Scientific highlights

Enzyme evolution for industrial biocatalytic cascades

Advances in enzyme engineering have enabled the increasingly efficient optimization of enzymes in the context of cascades, where each enzyme operates in the presence of others, under continuously changing conditions as substrate, reaction intermediates, and product concentrations fluctuate over the course of the reaction. Enzyme evolution has provided biocatalysts with greatly improved traits, including activity, selectivity, and stability. This review focuses on recently developed, industrially relevant enzyme cascades.

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There are many steps to a healthier future.

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