Lipase catalyzed transesterification of soybean oil using ethyl acetate, an alternative acyl acceptor

Research paper by Sok-Joong Kim, Sang-Min Jung, Yong-Cheol Park, Kyungmoon Park

Indexed on: 01 Aug '07Published on: 01 Aug '07Published in: Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering


Methanol, the acyl acceptor usually used in the commercial process of biodiesel production, is associated with some problems such as immiscibility with oils and lipase deactivation. To overcome these barriers, ethyl acetate was proposed as an alternative acyl acceptor for the production of biodiesel from soybean oil using an immobilized lipase, Novozym 435, Ethyl acetate mixed well with soybean oil, and only slightly inhibited the lipase activity by 5%. The effects of various environmental parameters, such as the composition of soybean oil and ethyl acetate, lipase content, and reaction temperature, were investigated to determine the optimal conditions for biodiesel production. As a result, the highest biodiesel production yield, 63.3 (±0.6)%, was obtained by using an ethyl acetate and soybean oil mixture with a 6∶1 molar ratio, with 8% of the immobilized lipase based on the weight of oil added at 70°C and 600 rpm.