Enzymatic Preparation of Fatty Acid Esters of Sugar Alcohols by Condensation in Acetone using a Packed-bed Reactor with Immobilized Candida antarctica Lipase

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Mono- and dilauroyl arabitols, ribitols, xylitols and sorbitols were synthesized batchwise or continuously at 50oC or 60oC by condensation catalyzed by an immobilized Candida antarctica lipase in acetone. Continuous production was realized using a system where a column packed with sugar alcohol and a packed-bed reactor with the immobilized lipase were connected in series. The concentrations of the mono- and dilauroyl esters of each sugar alcohol became almost constant at mean residence times of 15 min or longer in the packed-bed reactor. The monolauroyl, monomyristoyl and monopalmytoyl arabitols, ribitols, xylitols and sorbitols were continuously produced using the reactor system at 60oC, and the productivity was in the range of 1.3–2.0 kg L−1-reactor·day except for the fatty acid esters of sorbitol, the productivity of which was 0.6–0.8 kg L−1-reactor·day.

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