BoostLab1-2: Bio-Capa - Biobased ε-Caprolactone
January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2025
RWTH Aachen, ABBt (Chair of Biotechnology)
Universität Bielefeld, IACB (Chair of Industrial Organic Chemistry and Biotechnology)
The goal of Bio-Capa is to develop a sustainable, efficient, and economically attractive production process for caprolactone, an industrial chemical required on a multi-10,000 ton scale, based on the use of renewable feedstocks as opposed to current petrochemical sources.
Three interesting synthetic routes have been identified for the production of caprolactone from renewable resources. The synthesis routes differ mainly by different starting raw materials and by the combination of chemical and enzymatic synthesis steps. The three synthesis routes will first be evaluated and prioritized. For all synthesis routes, the process efficiency will be investigated, optimized and evaluated, taking into account the raw material costs. The prioritized process will then be specifically optimized and transferred to the enlarged laboratory scale. One research focus here will be the optimization of the bio- and chemo-catalysts to achieve the required technical characteristics.
In order to additionally achieve favorable process economics, purification of the intermediates will be omitted and the reactions will be carried out as multi-step one-pot syntheses. In addition, initial product samples will be produced, which will then be tested at the BYK company in application tests with regard to equivalence with the current petroleum-based product. The end result of this project should be a sustainable, efficient and economically attractive bio-based production process for caprolactone.