Cats need dietary taurine. How is it made?

Taurine was first isolated from ox bile in 1827. It is also found concentrated in shark blood, mussels, and oysters. In 1918, taurine came from the large muscle of abalone. Inorganic synthesis of taurine from 2-n bromoethanesulfonate dates back to 1930. Since 1947 the most economical method of obtaining taurine is synthesis by sodium sulfite sulfonation of ethylene chloride, followed by ammonolysis with anhydrous ammonia, or with aqueous ammonia and ammonium carbonate.

More precisely, the method is as follows:

Using the Haber-Bosch process, ammonia is directly synthesized from the hydrogen and nitrogen in air. This process uses iron as a catalyst along with high-pressure and moderately high temperature. From this ammonia the hydrogen atom of the ammonia (NH3) is replaced with a hydroxyethyl radical (-CH2CH2OH).. This is done by the reaction of ammonia with ethylene oxide and the resulting mixture is separated by fractional distillation. This results in ethanol amine. Further chemical reactions result in ethyleneimine which then results in crude taurine. This is added to water and filtered through activated carbon several times, resulting a purified taurine which is then dried. This method describes the process from which we obtain taurine for use in Vegepet™ products.

Cat food manufacturers use synthetic taurine in their products for economic reasons. Taurine can also be obtained through synthesis by sodium sulfite sulfonation of ethylene chloride followed by ammonolysis with anhydr NH3 or with aq. NH3 and ammonium carbonate.

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