Recent Publications with Rotating Bed Reactors (05/23)

This newsletter highlights selected peer-reviewed research in which our rotating bed reactors (RBR) were used for cutting-edge chemistry. The applications shown are: chemocatalytic epoxidation, biocatalytic epoxidation, and a combined chemo-enzymatic catalytic cascade. - Enjoy!

Chemocatalytic epoxidation of fatty acids

There are more than one way to perform epoxidations of fatty acids. Researchers at Cracow University of Technology and the Lavian State Institute of Wood Chemistry have performed epoxidation of tall oil using the Strong Acid Cation (SAC) exchange resin DuPont™ Amberlite™ IRC120 H and acetic acid. They highlighted that “The design of the RBR reactor allows the catalyst to be separated from the reaction mixture without any losses and additional operations such as filtration, washing and drying, as is the case when a batch reactor is used.


Source: Krzysztof Polaczek, Eliza Kaulina, Ralfs Pomilovskis, Anda Fridrihsone, Mikelis Kirpluks, Journal of Polymers and the Environment, Volume 30 (2022), pp. 4774–4786.

Biocatalytic epoxidation of oleic acid

An immobilized lipase can also be used as a catalyst for the epoxidation of a fatty acid, as demonstrated by reseachers at Åbo Akademi University. The challenge with the biocatalytic approach is the cost of the immobilized lipase; it needs to be used for more than one reaction cycle to be cost-competitive. To address this, the authors used the immobilized lipase in a rotating bed reactor (RBR) and recycled the enzyme. They noted they could spin the RBR quite fast, and concluded that “…the SpinChem® device protects the immobilized lipase from being damaged by a grinding effect of the agitator.



Source: Adriana Freites Aguilera, Pontus Lindros, Jani Rahkila, Mark Martinez Klimov, Pasi Tolvanen, Tapio Salmi, Åbo Akademi University, Chemical Engineering and Processing - Process Intensification, Volume 174, April 2022, 108882.

Combining bio- and chemocatalysis 

Philipp Petermeier et al. have established a chemoenzymatic cascade reaction for synthesizing a hydroxystyrene monomer. Their work shows a scalable and green route to these valuable compounds, and the researchers note that “… a heterogenized biocatalyst allows compartmentalization, recovery, and reuse, all potentially enhancing its practical applicability and productivity.

Source: Philipp Petermeier, Jan Philipp Bittner, Simon Müller, Emil Byström, Selin Kara, Green Chemistry, 2022, 24(18), pp. 6889-6899.


Please reach out to us about any publications you would like to see included in future Newsletters from SpinChem. We are always happy to hear from users of the rotating bed reactor, and to help the community learn more from your findings.

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