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Biolubricant production from palm stearin through enzymatic transesterification method

Afifah, A.N, Syahrullail, S., Wan Azlee, Nur Izyan, Che Sidik, Nor Azwadi, Yahya, W.J., Abd Rahim, Erween
Biochemical engineering journal 2019 v.148 pp. 178-184
Candida, biodegradability, biolubricants, byproducts, carboxylic ester hydrolases, catalysts, enzymatic reactions, friction, methanol, stearin, temperature, transesterification, viscosity
The present study aims to develop environmentally benign lubricant from by-product of palm oil processing through enzymatic reaction. Candida antartica lipase was employed as catalyst to transesterified reaction between palm stearin and methanol in a solvent-free system. The reaction parameters were varied in terms of molar ratio of methanol-to-palm stearin (3:1 to 8:1), temperature (between 40 and 70 °C), time (2–12 h) and concentration of catalyst (from 2 to 10 wt.%). Enzymatic transesterification demonstrated around 95.26% maximum yield of palm stearin methyl ester under the following conditions: 4:1 methanol-to-PS molar ratio, reaction temperature of 60 °C, reaction time of 8 h and 6.0 wt. % of lipase concentration. The Structural modification of palm stearin resulted in improvement in both physicochemical and tribological properties. The produced biolubricant demonstrated superior viscosity index (>120) and friction properties over commercial mineral oil-based lubricant. This study showed that lubricant derived from palm stearin has a great potential to be used as a base stock in regard to favourable biodegradability and tribological performance.