Biocatalytic production of adiponitrile and related aliphatic linear α,ω-dinitriles

Tobias Betke, Manuel Christian Maier, Heidrun Gruber-Wölfler, Harald Gröger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Linear α,ω-dinitriles are important precursors for the polymer industry. Most prominently, adiponitrile is produced on an annual scale of ca. 1 million tons. However, a drawback of today’s dominating process is the need for large amounts of highly toxic hydrogen cyanide. In this contribution, an alternative approach towards such linear dinitriles is presented based on dehydration of readily available α,ω-dialdoximes at ambient conditions by means of aldoxime dehydratases. In contrast to existing production routes this biocatalytic route enables a highly regio- and chemoselective approach towards dinitriles without the use of hydrogen cyanide or harsh reaction conditions. In addition, a selective synthesis of adiponitrile with substrate loadings of up to 100 g/L and high yields of up to 80% was achieved. Furthermore, a lab scale process on liter scale leading to > 99% conversion at 50 g/L underlines the potential and robustness of this method for technical applicability
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5112
Number of pages9
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2018

Fields of Expertise

  • Advanced Materials Science


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