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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 756418, 7 pages
Research Article

Chemoenzymatic Epoxidation of Alkenes and Reusability Study of the Phenylacetic Acid

1Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
2Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Received 31 August 2013; Accepted 24 October 2013; Published 27 January 2014

Academic Editors: A. Bekatorou, A. Geng, and G. B. Shul’pin

Copyright © 2014 Emilia Abdulmalek et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Here, we focused on a simple enzymatic epoxidation of alkenes using lipase and phenylacetic acid. The immobilised Candida antarctica lipase B, Novozym 435 was used to catalyse the formation of peroxy acid instantly from hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and phenylacetic acid. The peroxy phenylacetic acid generated was then utilised directly for in situ oxidation of alkenes. A variety of alkenes were oxidised with this system, resulting in 75–99% yield of the respective epoxides. On the other hand, the phenylacetic acid was recovered from the reaction media and reused for more epoxidation. Interestingly, the waste phenylacetic acid had the ability to be reused for epoxidation of the 1-nonene to 1-nonene oxide, giving an excellent yield of 90%.