The enzyme mandelonitrile lyase was covalently immobilized on solid support materials using different methods. Immobilization on porous silica using coupling with glutaraldehyde afforded preparations with high enzyme loading (up to 9% (w/w)). The immobilized enzyme was used in a packed bed reactor for the continuous production of d-mandelonitrile from benzaldehyde and cyanide. The influence of the flow rate, pH, substrate concentrations and enzyme loading on the reaction yield and the enantiomeric purity of the product was investigated. In order to suppress the competing spontaneous reaction, the enzymatic reaction must be rapid. A flow rate of 9.5 ml/min (0.1 M benzaldehyde and 0.3 M HCN) through a 3 ml reactor afforded a 86% yield of mandelonitrile with 92% enantiomeric excess. No leakage of enzyme occurred under continuous operation. One column was used continuously for 200 h without any decrease in yield or enantiomeric purity of the product. High concentrations of benzoic acid were shown to decrease the operational stability of the system.
- Biokatalys och enzymteknik