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Beta Alanine and the Source of Fumaric acid
May 08, 2018

1. In animal body

The main source of beta alanine is the liver, and there are 3 ways: the decomposition of uracil and cytosine(the main way), the hydrolysis of the carnosine and the decarboxylation of L- aspartic acid.

2. In practical production

Beta alanine can be synthesized by chemical synthesis and microbial transformation, and there are 5 methods( 3 chemical synthesis methods and 2 bio-enzyme methods). Besides, no breakthrough has been made from glucose fermentation, and our company is no exception. Our R&D department is researching fermented beta alanine, which maybe successful in the second half of the year.

2.1 Chemical synthesis methods

At present, beta alanine is mainly manufactured from chemical synthesis methods, including: Acrylonitrile method, Acrylic acid method, beta aminopropanitrile method, and beta aminopropanol method, and etc. 

(1) Acrylonitrile method 

Acrylonitrile and ammonia react directly into beta alanine. Or, Acrylonitrile is ammoniated to form beta aminopropanitrile, then beta aminopropanitrile is hydrolyzed to produce beta alanine in acidic or alkaline conditions. However, this process produces a large amount of inorganic salts.

(2) Acrylic acid method

Acrylic acid would be self polymerized after a long time storage, and only the high purity acrylic acid with low polymerization degree is used to make beta alanine. The price of high purity is more than ¥ 8000/ton. Besides, Acrylic acid is mainly used as material to produce baby diapers and paint.

2.2 Bio-enzyme methods

The advantages of bio-enzyme methods: synthesized beta alanine causes itching and is with ammonia odor because of residual solvent, while there is no the above phenomenon for beta alanine from bio-enzyme way; environmental friendly, supported by Chinese government, etc.

3 The source of Fumaric acid 

As is known, Fumaric acid (trans-2-butenedioic acid) is the isomer of Maleic acid (cis-2-butenedioic Acid). There are many methods to produce fumaric acid in industry, and the main method is: Benzene→maleic anhydride→Maleic acid→Fumaric acid.

Besides, the fermented methods are as the followings:

(1)Carbohydrate(sucrose, glucose, maltose)→Rhizopus→Fumaric acid.

Output rate is: 1ton Fumaric acid needs 8 tons carbohydrate.

(2)Liquid paraffin→Microorganism→Fumaric acid

Fermentation period is 80-88 hours, the conversion rate of liquid paraffin is about 50%, and the extraction rate is above 50%.

The fermented methods have not been applied to industry. Shandong Yangcheng biotech were told that if the fermented methods were breakthrough , and the cost of fumaric acid would be lowered and also beta alanine.

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