Monday, April 30, 2007

Lipase catalyzed methanolysis to produce biodiesel: Effect of high fatty acid and water content

Jae-Hee Park1, Gwi-Taek Jeong1, Hee-Seung Yang1, Seok-Hwan Park2, Hah-Young Yoo1, Seung-Ho Jung3, Gwang-Yeon Lee4, Hwa-Won Ryu1, and Don-Hee Park1. (1) School of Biological Sciences and Technology, Chonnam National University, Gwangju, South Korea, (2) Interdisciplinary Program of Graduate School for Bioenergy & Biomaterials, Chonnam National University, Gwangju, South Korea, (3) Korea Testing & research Institute, Seoul, South Korea, (4) Dept. Ophthalmic Optics, Dong-A College,, Jeonnam, South Korea

The monoalkyl fatty acid ester, which can be derived from vegetable oils and animal fats via transesterification with short-chain alcohol, may be usable as an alternative fuel for diesel engines. Biodiesel, as a biodegradable and combustion clean fuel, has become increasingly important due to petroleum decrease and environmental pollution. However, it also have tremendous promise in a wide range of industrial purpose, either in direct form or as starting materials for the production of other compounds. Application of lipase as a catalyst for biodiesel production is a clean process because of its non-toxic and mild operation conditions compared with chemical process. Two bottlenecks are extremely relevant to the cost of biodiesel production; raw materials costs (oil and alcohol), and lipase costs as catalyst. The main factors which affect transesterification include the molar ratio of feedstock to alcohol, catalyst amount, the reaction temperature and reaction time, and the contents of free fatty acid and water in the oil feedstocks used. In this study, we have attempted to determine the optimal conditions inherent to the production of biodiesel via lipase catalyzed methanolysis and feedstock contained high free fatty acid and water contents.