What is it about?

The world demand for fuel as energy sources have arisen the need for generating alternatives such as bio-fuel. Biodiesel is a renewable fuel used particularly in diesel engines. Currently, biodiesel is mainly produced through transesterification reactions catalyzed by chemical catalysts, which produces higher fatty acid alkyl esters in shorter reaction time. Although extensive investigations on enzymatic transesterifica-tion by downstream processing were carried out, enzymatic transesterification has yet to be used in scale-up since commercial lipases are chiefly limited to the cost as well as long reaction time. While numerous lipases were studied and proven to have the high catalytic capacity, still enzymatic reaction requires more investigation.

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Why is it important?

To fill this gap, finding optimal conditions for the reaction such as alcohol and oil choice, water content, reaction time and temperature through proper reaction modelling and simulations as well as the appropriate design and use of reactors for large scale production are crucial issues that need to be accurately addressed.


LIpase concentration, alternative lipase resources through whole cell technology and genetic engineering, recent immobilizing materials including nanoparticles, and the capacity of enzyme to be reused are important criteria to be neatly investigated for progress in this area in the near future.

Zul Ilham
University of Malaya

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: State of the art and prospective of lipase-catalyzed transesterification reaction for biodiesel production, Energy Conversion and Management, June 2017, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.enconman.2016.09.049.
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