Lipase-catalyzed transesterification of rapeseed oil for biodiesel production with tert-butanol.
Biodiesel is a fatty acid alkyl ester that can be derived from any vegetable oil or animal fat via the process of transesterification. It is a renewable, biodegradable, and nontoxic fuel. In this paper, we have evaluated the efficacy of a transesterification process for rapeseed oil with methanol in the presence of an enzyme and tert-butanol, which is added to ameliorate the negative effects associated with excess methanol. The application of Novozym 435 was determined to catalyze the transesterification process, and a conversion of 76.1% was achieved under selected conditions (reaction temperature 40 degrees C, methanol/oil molar ratio 3:1, 5% (w/w) Novozym 435 based on the oil weight, water content 1% (w/w), and reaction time of 24h). It has also been determined that rapeseed oil can be converted to fatty acid methyl ester using this system, and the results of this study contribute to the body of basic data relevant to the development of continuous enzymatic processes.