Continuous Enzymatic Glycerolysis of Soybean Oil
a Institute of Chemical Processes , Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, b SYNPO Co., Pardubice
Enzymatic glycerolysis of soybean oil catalyzed with the commercial lipase catalyst Novozym 435 has been carried out at 45-52 °C in a stirred tank and fixed-bed reactor, using tert-butyl alcohol as a solvent. The effects of reaction conditions on the glycerolysis were evaluated and optimum parameters found for the monoacylglycerol (MAG) production (yield > 85 %). Unlike the batch glycerolysis, in the packed bed reactor, the catalyst retained its activity in long-term operation, regardless of the reaction conditions used. The continuous transesterification of the oil with trimethylolpropane (TMP) afforded a mixture of monoacyl- and diacylglycerols in 90% yield. The high yield of monoacyl-TMP (71 %) along with 24 % of 1-monoacyl- and 5 % of 2-monoacylglycerol gives evidence of the efficiency of the process.
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