Amino acid purification through activated carbon

Amino acid purification

Amino acids are used as animal feed additives (lysine, methionine, threonine), flavor enhancers (monosodium glutamic, serine, aspartic acid) and as specialty nutrients in the medical field. Glutamic acid, lysine and methionine account for the majority, by weight, of amino acids produced in the world.

Amino acid production

Today there are three ways to produce amino acids:

  • Direct chemical synthesis;
  • Fermentation and
  • Bioconversion using enzymes.

Selection of the processes depends on available technology, costs of raw material, market prices and sizes, cost of running fermentation versus synthesis reactions, and the environmental impact of the process itself. The table below illustrates the main processes used in the production of amino acids:

Amino acid Production process
L-glutamate Fermentation
D, L. Methionine Chemical
L-Lysine HCl Fermentation
Glycine Chemical
L-Phenylalanine Fermentation
L-Aspartic acid Enzymatic
L-Threonine Fermentation
L-Cysteine Extraction, Enzymatic
D, L –Alanine Fermentation
L- Glutamine Fermentation
L-Arginine Fermentation
L- Tryptophan Fermentation
L – Valine Fermentation
L –Leucine Fermentation, Extraction
L –Alanine Enzymatic
L –Isoleucine Fermentation
L – Histidine Fermentation
L – Proline Fermentation
L – Serine Fermentation
L - Tyrosine Fermentation


Amino acid purification: activated carbon adsorbers

During the production of amino acids several isolation, separation and purification technologies are used.  Desotec powder activated carbon and granular activated carbon are used to remove colour and other impurities to:

  • powder activated carbon
  • Improve the crystallisation process by removing impurities
  • Improved yield and therefore less product losses
  • Colour removal
  • High purity end products
  • Removal of toxic or foaming compounds before fermentation
  • Improved fermentation process
  • Improved colour stability
  • High purity end products

The result is a purified, high-quality amino acid free of contaminants, thanks to the technology of activated carbon purification techniques!

Desotec can offer a range of mobile active carbon adsorbers to avoid on-site carbon handling or limit capital investment. For a total purification solution, do not hesitate to contact us!


At DESOTEC’s facilities, all used carbon is analysed so the right measures can be taken for handling and removing the saturated carbon out of the mobile filters. All molecules that were adsorbed on the activated carbon at the customers’ site, are desorbed inside DESOTEC’s reactivation furnaces. These contaminants are then fully destroyed, in accordance with National and European legislationby an incineration and neutralisation setup. The entire installation and it's emissions are under continuous on-line monitoring, which guarantees that only harmless water vapour is seen exiting the chimney.