Biocatalysis in Purolite | A Complete Story

Immobilized enzymes in biocatalysis are powerful tools to optimise processes in both operative and economic terms.  In addition to a more convenient method of handling enzyme preparations, the two main targeted benefits of immobilized enzymes are, easy separation/re-use of the enzyme from the product, better downstream processing, and their use in continuous processes (fixed or expanded-bed columns) or in batch processes (stirred-tank configurations).

The immobilization on a rigid structure increases the biocatalyst stability towards organic solvents and temperature.

Presently, immobilized enzymes produce important pharmaceuticals and food ingredients and additives on a large ton scale.  Some of these industrial processes are listed in Table 1.



Table 1 - Industry Applications (view pdf document)


As a result of many years of dedicated research, Purolite can offer the widest range of enzyme carriers and immobilized enzymes - Lifetech™ ECR.


Lifetech™ ECR (Figure 2), provides the highest immobilization yields due to optimised resin surfaces, optimal mass transfer through optimal porosity, and high mechanical stability due to bead strength. Each one of these characteristics contribute significantly to the final productivity and economics of the biocatalysed process (Figure 1).


Figure 1 - Enzyme Immobilization Process

Figure 2 - Schematic Illustration of Lifetech™ ECR range of products


The efficiency of enzyme immoblization is given by these carrier features:

Functional groups to allow covalent, ionic or adsorption enzyme immobilization.

Porosity and Surface area that should be > 300 and > 100 m²/g respectively, for optimal mass transfer and interaction.

Hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity that is critical for interaction of enzyme surface.

Mechanical stability/rigidity that is essential in multiple cycles to avoid creation of fines.

Size of the support that is different when using batch mode or column reactors.

Regeneration of functional groups, as in the case of ionic immobilization, is possible and an economic driver.

Safety and regulations that are important for applications in food and pharmaceuticals.

Lifetech™ ECR resins lead the market in a range of available porosites, particle sizes, functional groups and chemistries.