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The spinning mesh disc reactor (SMDR) is an innovative catalytic rotating reactor to aid process intensification. In this study, the application of the SMDR has been demonstrated for the enzymatic kinetic resolution of racemic 1-phenyethanol using amano lipase immobilised on wool as a catalyst. Physical characterisation of wool was carried out to confirm the presence of lipase. The reaction was tested for a range of solvents and temperatures for both free and immobilized lipase and the optimised reaction conditions were employed in the SMDR for different flowrates and spinning speeds. The SMDR showed better reaction efficiency compared to the batch reactor: the feed throughput was scaled-up from 10 ml to 250 ml and the productivity increased from 7.05 g l-1 h-1 in batch to 10.92 g l-1 h-1 in the SMDR. An increase in catalyst loading was achieved by adding more lipase cloths and the reaction rate increased from 0.16 mmol min-1 (one cloth) to 0.28 mmol min-1 (three cloths). These results show the first demonstration of novel reactor design for scale-up of enzymatic kinetic resolution using an inexpensive lipase. The SMDR thus shows potential for scale-up and continuous processing for versatile applications in the fine chemicals and pharmaceutical industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-64
Number of pages9
JournalChemical Engineering & Processing: Process Intensification
Early online date18 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2018


  • Intensified enzyme catalysed reaction
  • Kinetic resolution
  • Lipase immobilisation
  • Reaction scale-up
  • Spinning mesh disc reactor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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