Biocatalysis, the use of natural catalysts (enzymes) for the selective and environmentally friendly conversion of synthetic chemicals for pharmaceutical, agrochemical or fine chemical applications has received interest from academia and industry during
recent years. A class of chemical reactions which is of particular interest but of high complexity is the oxidation of organic molecules using air as the oxidant.
New enzymes were developed as catalysts for oxidation reactions by identifying novel enzymes and by improving existing ones. The enzyme families under study were the Cytochrome P450s and Baeyer-Villiger Monooxygenases. Efficient procedures were developed
which allow for the synthetic application of these enzymes with high stereoselectivities and high catalyst lifetimes. A new method was developed which enables the use of sunlight as the energy source for these reactions instead of the usual chemical
energy, which helps in paving the way towards clean organic synthesis.