Horse radish peroxidase (HRP) from Armoracia rusticana
catalyses the oxidation of (R)-limonene into the oxidized derivatives carveol and carvone. This study compares the direct addition (DA) of hydrogen peroxide with its continuous electrogeneration (EG) during the enzymatic oxidation of (R)-limonene. Reaction mixtures containing HRP, (R)-limonene as substrate, and hydrogen peroxide, added directly or electrogenerated, in 100 mM sodium-potassium phosphate buffer pH 7.0, at 25°C were studied. Two electrochemical systems for the hydrogen peroxide electrogeneration were evaluated, both containing as auxiliary electrode (AE) a platinum wire and saturated calomel electrode (SCE) as reference. Reticulated vitreous carbon foam (RVCF) and an electrolytic copper web (CW) were evaluated as working electrodes (WE). Results were compared in terms of hydrogen peroxide electrogeneration, (R)-limonene residual concentration or conversion and product selectivity. Best results in terms of maximum H2
concentration (1.2 mM) were obtained using the CW electrode at -620 mVSCE
, and continuous aeration. Use of the EG system under optimized conditions, which included the use of acetone (30% v/v) as a cosolvent in a 3 hrs enzymatic reaction, lead to a 45% conversion of (R)-limonene into carveol and carvone (2:1). In comparison to the results obtained with DA, the use of EG also improved the half-life of the enzyme.