Practical uses of a novel alcohol dehydrogenase from Thermoanaerobium brockii have been examined in crude and purified form. Stoichiometric reduction of NADP (50 mg) was demonstrated with agarose-immobilized enzyme and 0.3 (v/v) 2-propanol solution as reductant. A coenzyme recycle number of 20000 was achieved in enzymatic reactions that employed the alcohol dehydrogenase for NADPH/NADP regeneration. Gram-scale synthesis of chiral R(+) 2-pentanol was shown in a system composed of enzyme, 2-pentanone and 2-propanol as reductant. The effect of temperature, reaction time and substrate concentration on alcohol optical purity was examined. An optical purity of 80% was achieved in the enzymatic synthesis of R(+) 2-pentanol. The enzyme was easily immobilized and stable on an enzyme electrode for analytical detection of alcohols and carbonyls. T. brockii enzyme has potential applications as a commercial alcohol dehydrogenase because of broad substrate specificity and activity at high temperature or high solvent concentration, rare carbonyl si-face stereo-specificity in hydrogen transfer, and high stability and activation of immobilized enzyme.