button: text-only site map
Uses of Propeneamide
Poly(propeneamide) is useful because it can absorb enormous amounts of water

Manufacture using biocatalysis

Propeneamide is the first bulk chemical manufactured using an industrial biotransformation.

Both the conventional and bio-processes involve the same reaction.

Conventional Process

Biotransformation

Catalyst:

 

a copper salt

preparation is complicated

difficult to regenerate the used catalyst

Catalyst:

the enzyme nitrile hydratase in whole cells of Rhodococcus rhodochrous immobilised on
poly(propeneamide) gel

 

The rate of propeneamide formation is slower than the rate of acrylic acid formation the immobilised cells can be used repeatedly

Conditions:

Separation and Purification:




Copper ions need to be removed from product

difficult to separate and purify the
propeneamide

Conditions:


Yield:

Separation and purification:

pH 7.5
50c

over 99.99 %

No need to recover unreacted propenonitrile because the yield is so high

The two columns give some details of each process for comparison
Question

Polymerisation occurs readily at the double bond of the propeneamide. Why is this less of a problem in the enzyme-catalysed process?

button: providing answer to question