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Methionine Manufacture Technology Description

Online Methionine Data: Manufacturing, Uses and Applications

Intratec Chemical Process Library is the first free online encyclopedia of chemical process technologies. Our Library covers not only processes description themselves, but also the economics surrounding chemicals production, providing real-world knowledge on the production of several chemical commodities. Click here to check all chemicals covered.

In this page you will find free data about Methionine, including:

  • What is Methionine
  • How to make Methionine
  • Methionine uses and applications

This page presents brief synopsis of Methionine production technology, describing, in a concise way, relevant technical and economic aspects. Each manufacturing process description will consist of:

  • Major process steps
  • Simplified, schematic flow diagram & key equipment
  • Important safety or environmental considerations
  • Economic perspective, comprising capital expenditures and/or operating expenses

All content from Intratec's Chemical Process Library was produced based on reports published by Intratec. To learn more about Methionine production processes presented below and others examined in Intratec reports, click here.

D,L-Methionine Manufacture via the Carbonate Technology

Methionine is an essential amino acid that is not synthesized by animals, so it must be obtained from their diets. Synthetic methionine is traditionally commercially available in two varieties: D,L-methionine (DLM), a racemic mixture of the two stereoisomers, and methionine hydroxy analog (MHA). For animal nutrition, the two are equivalent. Globally, 98% of methionine produced is used as an animal feed additive, especially in the poultry market. Methionine is also used in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

Technology Description

In the process shown in the diagram below, DLM is obtained via the carbonate process from 3-methylthiopropionaldehyde (MMP) and hydrogen cyanide (HCN), without forming co-products. The process presented here is similar to one developed by Evonik Industries AG, and can be divided into four main areas: hydantoin production; hydantoin hydrolysis;DLM production and filtration; and drying. Hydantoin corresponds to the intermediate 5-(2-methylmercaptoethyl)-hydantoin generated in the process.

Hydantoin Production

MMP, HCN and an aqueous solution of carbon dioxide (CO2) and ammonia (NH3) are fed to the hydantoin primary reactor. A gas stream containing CO2, NH3 and impurities leaves the reactor and is washed with MMP and water in a scrubbing column. Purifi ed CO2 is released in the overheads and used in DLM production. The reaction mixture is fed to a hydantoin secondary reactor, where the reaction is completed.

Hydantoin Hydrolysis

The hydantoin product stream and ...

Global perspective

In the past few years, methionine global demand has ...

Methionine Estimated Production Capacity

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Bio-based Methionine Manufacture via Fermentation of Glucose

Methionine is mainly derived from petrochemical sources. However, biochemical routes to obtain it have been researched. For instance, a joint venture between CJ Bio and Arkema initiated methionine production using both renewable and petrochemical raw materials; and Metabolic Explorer, in partnership with Roquette, developed a process for 100% bio-based methionine.

Technology Description

The production of L-methionine via a method similar to the one proposed in patents issued to Metabolic Explorer and Roquette is described below and presented in the figure below. In this process, L-methionine is produced through a fed-batch aerobic fermentation, using glucose as the carbon source and ammonium thiosulfate as the nitrogen and sulfur source. Products obtained from this process are L-methionine powder (final product) and liquid L-methionine compound (byproduct).

Media Preparation

Culture media used in the fermentation are prepared by mixing water, corn syrup (70 wt.% glucose) and aqueous ammonium thiosulfate solution in medium vessels.


A recombinant microorganism produces L-methionine through an aerobic fermentation process, which is divided into two phases: batch and fed-batch. Fermenters are filled with the batch medium, and fermentation occurs until glucose exhaustion, when the fed-batch phase is started by adding the fed-batch medium until the end of the fermentation.

Clarification and Demineralization

Culture broth is clarified by the removal of ...

Economic Performance

An economic evaluation of the process was conducted ...


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Methionine Hydroxy Analog Production

Methionine is an essential amino acid that is widely used as an animal feed additive, especially in the poultry market. Hydroxy-methyl butyric acid, also known as methionine hydroxy analog (MHA), is used in animal nutrition as an equivalent to methionine, since it is converted into L-methionine by enzymes inside animals’ bodies.

Technology Description

In the process described here, liquid MHA is produced from 3-methylmercaptopropionaldehyde (MMP) and hydrogen cyanide. In the fi rst step, MMP is converted to hydroxy-methylthiobutyronitrile (HMBN), which is then hydrolyzed to MHA. Finally, MHA is recovered through solvent extraction. The figure below depicts a simplified flow diagram of this process.

HMBN synthesis

Liquid MMP is continuously fed into the HMBN reactor ...

MHA synthesis

HMBN undergoes hydrolysis in three steps. At first, HMBN is introduced ...


MHA is extracted with methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK). The extract ...

Economic Performance

MHA production cost (including plant operation, product sales, administration, R&D activities and depreciation) is estimated at about ...


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This synopsis is based on the report Methionine Hydroxy Analog Production Process - Cost Analysis. (For more information, click here).