Biodiesel fuel production by the transesterification reaction of soybean oil using immobilized lipase.

Research paper by Otávio L OL Bernardes, Juliana V JV Bevilaqua, Márcia C M R MC Leal, Denise M G DM Freire, Marta A P MA Langone

Indexed on: 15 May '08Published on: 15 May '08Published in: Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology


The enzymatic alcoholysis of soybean oil with methanol and ethanol was investigated using a commercial, immobilized lipase (Lipozyme RMIM). The effect of alcohol (methanol or ethanol), enzyme concentration, molar ratio of alcohol to soybean oil, solvent, and temperature on biodiesel production was determined. The best conditions were obtained in a solvent-free system with ethanol/oil molar ratio of 3.0, temperature of 50 degrees C, and enzyme concentration of 7.0% (w/w). Three-step batch ethanolysis was most effective for the production of biodiesel. Ethyl esters yield was about 60% after 4 h of reaction.