Evaluation and modelling the utility of SCCO2 to support efficient lipase mediated esterification

Muhammad Baig, Regina Santos, C Zetzl, J King, D Pioch, S Bowra

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Supercritical fluids offer environmental advantages over chemical solvents, while providing enhanced separation and chemical selectivity. The use of supercritical fluids for the recovery of products from biomass and the transformation of selected molecules (to add value) was studied. Free fatty acids were bio-catalytically transformed to fatty acid esters using lipase within a supercritical fluid environment. A central composite rotatable design was used to evaluate the influence of operating conditions on the enzymatic esterification process and a response surface equation was optimized to identify the most favourable process conditions for maximum free fatty acid conversion. Based on the model equation the process conditions under which it was predicted a yield of 100% esters could be obtained were: pressure 200 bar, temperature 60 degrees C. ethanol concentration 2.0 M, enzyme concentration 11 wt.% and time 60 min. Experiments conducted under these conditions gave an ester yield of 94.3% (close to predicted results). The activity per unit mass of biocatalyst was found to be 1585 mu mol/min/g(cat). The results support the use of supercritical fluids for process integration. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-426
Number of pages7
JournalEnzyme and Microbial Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2011


  • Response surface methodology
  • Supercritical CO2
  • Esterification
  • Lipase
  • Hydrolysis


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