• immobilized enzyme;
  • kinetic resolution;
  • mass-transfer limitations;
  • fixed-bed reactor;
  • analytical solution;
  • orthogonal collocation method


A mathematical model has been developed for immobilized enzyme-catalyzed kinetic resolution of racemate in a fixed-bed reactor in which the enzyme-catalyzed reaction (the irreversible uni–uni competitive Michaelis–Menten kinetics is chosen as an example) was coupled with intraparticle diffusion, external mass transfer, and axial dispersion. The effects of mass-transfer limitations, competitive inhibition of substrates, deactivation on the enzyme effective enantioselectivity, and the optical purity and yield of the desired product are examined quantitatively over a wide range of parameters using the orthogonal collocation method. For a first-order reaction, an analytical solution is derived from the mathematical model for slab-, cylindrical-, and spherical-enzyme supports. Based on the analytical solution for the steady-state resolution process, a new concise formulation is presented to predict quantitatively the mass-transfer limitations on enzyme effective enantioselectivity and optical purity and yield of the desired product for a continuous steady-state kinetic resolution process in a fixed-bed reactor. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Biotechnol Bioeng 74: 29–39, 2001.