Biocatalytic oxidation processes have to date presented major problems for scale-up, in part due to the complexity of the number of process variables. In this paper we have analysed the key limitations in such processes using the Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenase catalysed synthesis of optically pure lactones as an illustrative example. Limitations in product concentration, catalyst longevity and reaction rate were quantified and their effect on previously defined process metrics identified. Of particular interest is the way these metrics change with catalyst concentration. Using this assessment, the sensitivity of the metrics to potential changes to process and catalyst were analysed. We believe such an analysis is of general use to guide development efforts for a given biocatalytic reaction. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.