Biocatalytic separation of (R, S)-1-phenylethanol enantiomers and fractionation of reaction products with supercritical carbon dioxide

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The continuous kinetic resolution of (R, S)-1-phenylethanol via enzymatic transesterification was chosen as a benchmark reaction for the study of a complete reaction/separation process using supercritical carbon dioxide. Phase equilibrium data for binary and ternary systems was acquired as a starting point to determine the best conditions of operation. Total conversion of the (R)-isomer of the alcohol was achieved using a 10% molar excess of vinyl laurate. Three separators operating at given temperatures and pressures allowed the recovery of (S)-1-phenylethanol with a purity of 86%. The phase equilibrium data obtained indicates that an additional separation step should allow the recovery of both (S)-1-phenylethanol and (R)-1-phenylethylaurate with over 95% purity. Due to the low solubilities of the target compounds. CO(2) from the outlet gas stream of the last separator must be recycled to ensure the technical viability of the integrated reaction/separation of (R, S)-1-phenylethanol. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)963-970
JournalJournal of Supercritical Fluids
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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