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Lipase Enzymes for Biocatalytic Processes

Natural Catalysts Enable Kinetic Resolution of Esters and Alcohols

Biocatalysts, such as enzymes, are natural catalysts that become increasingly important in biological, biochemical and biomedical processes.  Compared to conventional chemical catalysts, enzymes are more environmentally friendly, offer higher reaction rates, display an ability to operate under milder reaction conditions and demonstrate high reaction specificity without side products.

Strem offers a wide range of enzyme products in collaboration with Novozymes.  These products are grouped as Lipase and Endoprotease biocatalysts.

Lipases are one of the most commonly used classes of enzymes for the biocatalyzation of esters and fatty acids.  The reaction reverses under anhydrous conditions and the enzyme is able to synthesize new molecules by esterification, alcoholysis and transesterification. All reactions can be performed with high regio- and enantioselectivity under mild reaction conditions (e.g. Fig. 1).


Fig. 1. Regioselective hydrolysis of a triacylglycerol

Lipases can be used in the following reactions: 

  • Kinetic resolution of alcohols, esters and amines
  • Dynamic kinetic resolution of alcohols, esters and amines
  • Desymmetrization of di-esters
  • Trans esterification of alcohols
  • Regio-selective hydrolysis of acyl esters
  • Inter esterification of  carboxylic esters
  • Amide formation

Proteases can be used in the following reactions:

  • Kinetic resolution of amino esters and selected esters
  • Dynamic kinetic resolution of amino esters

The best operation medium for enzymes is an aqueous solution or water, however many lipases are able to achieve optimum results in organic solvents or an organic solvent/buffer mixture. Phosphate buffers are recommended for lipase and protease-based enzymatic reactions.  Based on the pH required for the reaction, a specific phosphate buffer can be prepared or used.

Lipase enzymes are offered in liquid form (06-3100 NovoCor® AD L; 06-3105 Lipozyme® CALB L; 06-3118 Palatase® 20000 L; 06-3125 Resinase® HT; 06-3135 Novozym® 51032; 06-3140 Lipozyme® TL 100 L), as well as immobilized on a solid support, typically a polymeric resin (06-3120 Novozym® 40086; 06-3123 Novozym® 435; 06-3155 Lipozyme® TL IM).  Immobilization can be through adsorption of the enzyme on the solid support or by covalent linkage of the enzyme to the polymer support.  More specifications are listed in the corresponding technical notes found on the individual product pages.


  1. Molecules 2012, 17, 8955.
  2. J. Org. Chem. 2011, 76, 3917.
  3. J. Org. Chem. 2010, 75, 3105.
  4. Tetrahedron: Asymmetry 2005, 16, 3070.
  5. Adv. Synth. Catal. 2001, 343, 744.
  6. Org. Proc. Res. Dev. 2009, 13, 483.


 Products mentioned in this blog and related products:

06-3100: NovoCor® AD L  [9001-62-1]

06-3105: Lipozyme® CALB L  [9001-62-1]

06-3118: Palatase® 20000 L  [9001-62-1]

06-3125: Resinase® HT  [9001-62-1]

06-3135: Novozym® 51032  [9001-62-1]

06-3140: Lipozyme® TL 100 L  [9001-62-1]

06-3120: Novozym® 40086  [9001-62-1]

06-3123: Novozym® 435  [9001-62-1]

06-3155: Lipozyme® TL IM  [9001-62-1]

Download our Biocatalysts booklet here!



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