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Kinetics of enzymatic trans-esterification of glycerides for biodiesel production

Calabrò, Vincenza, Ricca, Emanuele, De Paola, Maria Gabriela, Curcio, Stefano, Iorio, Gabriele
Bioprocess and biosystems engineering 2010 v.33 no.6 pp. 701-710
Rhizomucor miehei, acylglycerols, biocatalysts, biodiesel, enzymatic reactions, equations, ethanol, fuel production, hexane, mass transfer, models, temperature
In this paper, the reaction of enzymatic trans-esterification of glycerides with ethanol in a reaction medium containing hexane at a temperature of 37 °C has been studied. The enzyme was Lipase from Mucor miehei, immobilized on ionic exchange resin, aimed at achieving high catalytic specific surface and recovering, regenerating and reusing the biocatalyst. A kinetic analysis has been carried out to identify the reaction path; the rate equation and kinetic parameters have been also calculated. The kinetic model has been validated by comparison between predicted and experimental results. Mass transport resistances estimation was undertaken in order to verify that the kinetics found was intrinsic. Model potentialities in terms of reactors design and optimization are also shown.