Enzymatic synthesis of biodiesel via alcoholysis of palm oil.

Research paper by André L F AL Matassoli, Igor N S IN Corrêa, Márcio F MF Portilho, Cláudia O CO Veloso, Marta A P MA Langone

Indexed on: 22 Nov '08Published on: 22 Nov '08Published in: Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology


The enzymatic alcoholysis of crude palm oil with methanol and ethanol was investigated using commercial immobilized lipases (Lipozyme RM IM, Lipozyme TL IM). The effect of alcohol (methanol or ethanol), molar ratio of alcohol to crude palm oil, and temperature on biodiesel production was determined. The best ethyl ester yield was about 25 wt.% and was obtained with ethanol/oil molar ratio of 3.0, temperature of 50 degrees C, enzyme concentration of 3.0 wt.%, and stepwise addition of the alcohol after 4 h of reaction. Experiments with 1 and 3 wt.% of KOH and 3 wt.% of MgO were carried out to compare their catalytic behavior with the enzymatic transesterification results. The commercial immobilized lipase, Lipozyme TL IM, showed the best catalytic performance.