Process for the preparation of ε-caprolactam from cyclohexanone and hydrogen peroxide by chemo-enzymatic catalysis


The aim of this project is to design a new technology for the production of ε-caprolactone via oxidation of cyclohexanone with H2O2 in the presence of heterogeneous biocatalyst.

As a final result, the plant equipped with 100 L reactor will be designed and constructed.Until now ε-caprolactone is not produced in Poland. Based on this, the results of the project will cover two novelties: product and process innovations. ε-Caprolactone is a fine chemical intermediate in the petroleum industrial chemistry and is used as a monomer which is transformed polycaprolactone, polyurethane elastomers and synthetic fibers, plastics, films, coatings, and plasticizers.

The technology in project will be based on the one pot, chemo-enzymatic approach involves oxidation of carboxylic acids with H2O2 to generate in situ peracid which is later used to oxidise cyclohexanone to ε-caprolactone.

The first stage will include studies concerning the process optimization in the laboratory scale. Four steps will be optimized: preparation of biocatalyst, synthesis of lactone, isolation and purification. Part of the studies will be subcontracted to Silesian University of Technology.


Duration: 07.2016-07.2019 

Leader: Azoty Group

Subcontractors: Silesian University of Technology (Anna Chrobok)


The National Centre for Research and Development