Enzymatic Hydroxylations in Industrial Application


  • Hans G. Kulla




In 1983, Lonza Ltd. initiated a small research group serving as a nucleus for the introduction of biotechnology to our organic intermediates and fine chemicals business. Over the past years we experienced vigorous growth and two projects reached industrial maturity: i) 6-Hydroxynicotinic acid (1) is a versatile building block derived by regiospecific hydroxylation of nicotinic acid (or niacin) (2), a B-group vitamin produced by Lonza. Thus, our first biotechnological product is fully integrated into the main product stream of Lonza's chemical production. ii) L-Carnitine (3) is synthesized by stereospecific hydroxylation of 4-butyrobetaine (4) in a β-oxidation process analogous to fatty-acid degradation. L-Carnitine (3) is a vitamin-like substance with interesting physiological capacities. Both processes are based on interrupted catabolic pathways of microbial origin. Production is on a multi-ton scale.




How to Cite

H. G. Kulla, Chimia 1991, 45, 81, DOI: 10.2533/chimia.1991.81.