A Biofuel Similar to Biodiesel Obtained by Using a Lipase from Rhizopus oryzae, Optimized by Response Surface Methodology
Sancho Puebla, Enrique
Bautista, Felipa M.
Romero, Antonio A.
Rhizopus oryzae lipase (ROL)
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A new biodiesel-like biofuel is obtained by the enzymatic ethanolysis reaction of sunflower oil with ethanol, in free solvent media, by using BIOLIPASE-R, a multipurpose alimentary additive from Biocon®-Spain that is a low cost lipase from a strain of Rhizopus oryzae. This biofuel is composed by two parts of fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEE) and one of monoglyceride (MG), which in this form integrates glycerol, through the application of the 1,3-selective lipases. Thus, this process minimizes waste generation and maximizes the efficiency of the process because no residual glycerol is produced. Response surface methodology (RSM) is employed to evaluate the main reaction parameters (reaction temperature, oil/ethanol ratio and pH) on the sunflower oil conversion. Water content and amount of lipase were also previously investigated. Regarding the results, we found that it operates optimally with a water content of the reaction medium of 0.15%, 0.05%–0.1% lipase by weight relative to the weight of oil used, 20 °C, volume ratio (mL/mL) oil/ethanol 12/3.5 and pH 12 (by addition of 50 μL of 10 N NaOH solution). These results have proven a very good efficiency of the biocatalyst in the studied selective process.