Medical agents, active ingredients of detergents, cosmetics, color pigments or polymers – all depend on chemical syntheses. Most chemical reactions require a high energy input and ecologically harmful organic solvents. The result of many chemical reactions is a mixture of products from which the desired substance must be separated sophisticatedly. About 90 % of all chemical processes are carried out using a type of catalysis. Here, biocatalysis comes into play – as biocatalysts, enzymes transform chemical syntheses into more ecological and economic processes.

acib uses enzymes or microorganisms in synthetic chemistry and develops biological alternatives to conventional chemical processes. Our procedures are more efficient and environmentally friendly.

Biocatalytic reactions are not only faster – they also require less energy, they are more selective and generate less waste. Overall, such ‘green’ reactions are more cost effective than classical ways of chemical synthesis. To reduce the dependence of the chemical industry from oil as raw material, acib puts increasingly emphasis on renewable carbon sources.

acib combines the latest knowledge on enzyme structures with the knowledge of chemical reaction mechanisms. Based thereon acib scientists develop innovative biocatalytic production processes for important chemical compounds. The main goals of our approach are shorter development times and predictable process results.


acib extends the search for novel reactions to replace inefficient (chemical) methodology towards still unsolved „dream-reactions“: (i) asymmetric hydration of C=C bonds, (ii) enzymatic activation of hydroxy-compounds to replace ecologically problematic Mitsunobu- and Appel-protocols, (iii) biocatalytic, metal-free replacement of the traditional Friedel-Crafts-Acylations, (iv) novel enzymatic C-C, C-S, C-O and C-N bond forming reactions.

Using novel C-sources (carbohydrates, fermentation products) acib scientists focus on „intelligent“, highly functionalized starting materials with added value for synthesis via regio-selective enzymatic functionalization.

acib research intensifies the trend towards the development of multi-enzyme cascade-reactions for the synthesis of complex organic compounds using the opportunities to employ novel chassis cells optimized in cofactor regeneration, energy and precursor generation. Of particular interest are medium-sized metabolites (C8-C14) bearing carbon atoms with varying oxidation states and a broad array of different functional groups.

The incorporation of designed biocatalytic steps into existing fermentation processes at the late stage of the biosynthetic sequence will finally lead to the substitution of tedious chemical tailoring steps and to avoiding isolation of sensitive intermediates.




Kurt Faber

Function: Head of the research field Biocatalytic Synthesis

Phone: +43 316 380 5332



Silvia Glück

Function: Senior Scientist