Evaluation and optimization of immobilized lipase for esterification of fatty acid and monohydric alcohol

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Commercial available lipases viz. LipozymeTM, Novozyme-735 and Candida antartica lipase-B (CAL-B) were immobilized on seven different supports by simple adsorption process. The importance of suitable enzyme–support combination in esterification of lauric acid and iso-propanol was validated experimentally. Effect of long chain fatty acids (C4–C18) and small chain monohydric alcohols (C1–C6) on specific activities of different immobilized lipases were evaluated. Lauric acid (C12) was found to be the most preferred fatty acid and t-amyl alcohol (C5) being the best alcohol. CAL-B adsorbed on Lewatit was the most efficient immobilized enzyme for esterification reaction. Selectivity constant for lauric acid (3.4) was the highest among all fatty acids tested, whereas there was not much difference in selectivity between different alcohols. Furthermore, increase in fatty acid unsaturation leads to decrease catalytic efficiency of immobilized CAL-B. The optimum conditions for t-amyllaurate synthesis were as follows: lauric acid—0.5 M, t-amyl alcohol—0.3 M and amount of immobilized enzyme—150 mg. Finally, CAL-B adsorbed on Lewatit was reused for three consecutive cycles.

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