Enzymatic biodiesel synthesis using a byproduct obtained from palm oil refining.

Research paper by Igor Nascentes IN Dos Santos Corrêa, Susana S Lorena de Souza, Marly M Catran, Otávio Luiz OL Bernardes, Márcio Figueiredo MF Portilho, Marta Antunes Pereira MA Langone

Indexed on: 21 Jun '11Published on: 21 Jun '11Published in: Enzyme research


An alternative route to produce biodiesel is based on esterification of free fatty acids present in byproducts obtained from vegetable oil refining, such as palm oil fatty acid distillate (PFAD). PFAD is a byproduct of the production of edible palm oil, which contains 96 wt.% of free fatty acids. The purpose of this work was to study biodiesel synthesis via esterification of PFAD with methanol and ethanol, catalyzed by commercial immobilized lipases (Novozym 435, Lipozyme RM-IM, and Lipozyme TL-IM), in a solvent-free system. The effects of reaction parameters such as type of lipase, enzyme amount, type of alcohol, alcohol amount, and enzyme reuse were studied. Fatty acid conversion of 93% was obtained after 2.5 h of esterification reaction between PFAD and ethanol using 1.0 wt.% of Novozym 435 at 60°C.