Optimization of lipase-catalyzed biodiesel by isopropanolysis in a continuous packed-bed reactor using response surface methodology
Isopropanolysis reactions were performed using triglycerides with immobilized lipase in a solvent-free environment. This study modeled the degree of isopropanolysis of soybean oil in a continuous packed-bed reactor when Novozym® 435 was used as the biocatalyst. Response surface methodology (RSM) and three-level-three-factor Box-Behnken design were employed to evaluate the effects of synthesis parameters, reaction temperature (°C), flow rate (mL/min) and substrate molar ratio of isopropanol to soybean oil, on the percentage molar conversion of biodiesel by transesterification. The results show that flow rate and temperature have a significant effect on the percentage of molar conversion. On the basis of ridge max analysis, the optimum conditions for synthesis were as follows: flow rate 0.1 mL/min, temperature 51.5°C and substrate molar ratio 1:4.14. The predicted value was 76.62 ± 1.52% and actual experimental value was 75.62 ± 0.81% molar conversion. Moreover, continuous enzymatic process for seven days did not show any appreciable decrease in the percent of molar conversion (75%). This work demonstrates the applicability of lipase catalysis to prepare isopropyl esters by transesterification in solvent-free system with a continuous packed-bed reactor for industrial production.
Journal: New Biotechnology - Volume 26, Issues 3–4, 31 October 2009, Pages 187–192