Optimal control of temperature was applied to a population balance model of enzymatically catalyzed depolymerization of a soluble polymer coupled with denaturation of enzyme. The reaction time required to reach a desired yield was predicted to be reduced by more than 10[Formula: see text] compared with isothermal operation. Also the yield within a given time could be increased by more than 5[Formula: see text] points. It was also possible to increase the yield and reduce the reaction time if a time-varying temperature profile was used. Furthermore, a simple-to-implement linear increasing temperature profile was shown to realize most of the saving potential. Rigorous optimization of the enzyme mixture and composition was predicted to have an even greater potential for improving the economic feasibility of the process. Optimization coupled with optimal control can be performed quickly in silico using the algorithm developed in this study if a validated and parameterized population balance model is available.
Keywords: Depolymerization; Enzyme denaturation; Optimal control; Population balance modeling.