Published March 1999
L-Lysine [2,6-N-diamino-hexanoic acid; NH2(OH2)4CH(NH2)COOH is an essential amino acid produced by fermentation. Between 1991 and 1997, the global market for L-lysine experienced explosive growth from 100 million to 750 million lb/yr primarily as a result of increased use as a feed additive in swine and poultry production. Although growth has leveled off, it is still projected to continue to increase at 7%/yr.
Four firms (Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Ajinomoto, Kyowa-Hakko, and BASF) account for nearly 90% of the world's capacity of L-lysine and have announced capacity increases totaling 300 million lb/yr. Moreover, Midwest Lysine LLC plans a 160 million lb/yr facility in Blair, Nebraska (start-up in 1999) to produce a form of L-lysine called BlOLYS60 [see PEP Review 97-8, Lysine-sulfate Production by Fermentation with Recovery by Spray Drying (February 1999)].
In this review we examine the economic and technical issues concerning the use of continuous ion exchange technology developed by Advanced Separation Technologies (AST) to produce L-lysine. monohydrochloride (L-lysine.HCI).
We conclude that the continuous ion-exchange recovery method offers the advantages of reduced water consumption and waste generation compared with earlier batch recovery systems.
Capital cost-related items account for 55% of product value. These costs can be reduced, as can raw material costs, through bacterial strain improvement to increase fermentor productivity and through process improvements to increase overall yield. Savings in transportation can be realized by locating production facilities next to a raw material supplier.