A facile continuous flow-through Candida antarctica lipase B immobilized silica microstructured optical fiber (SMOF) microreactor for application in lipid transformations has been demonstrated herewith. The lipase was immobilized on the amino activated silica fiber using glutaraldehyde as a bifunctional reagent. The immobilized lipase activity in the SMOF was tested calorimetrically by determination of p-nitrophenyl butyrate hydrolysis products. The specific activity of the immobilized lipase was calculated to be 0.91 U/mg. The SMOF microreactor performance was evaluated by using it as a platform for synthesis of butyl laurate from lauric acid and n-butanol in n-hexane and n-heptane at 50 °C, with products identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Different substrate mole ratios were evaluated, with 1:3, lauric acid:n-butanol showing best performance. Remarkably, percentage yields of up to 99% were realized with less than ∼38 s microreactor residence time. In addition, the SMOF microreactor could be reused many times (at least 7 runs) with minimal reduction in the activity of the enzyme. The enzyme stability did not change even with storage of the microreactor in ambient conditions over one month. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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