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J Biosci Bioeng. 2003;95(5):466-9.

Regeneration of immobilized Candida antarctica lipase for transesterification.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu 30043, Taiwan, ROC.


Immobilized lipase from Candida antarctica was employed to convert triglycerides to biodiesel using alcohol. Immobilized lipase is frequently deactivated by lower alcohols with deactivation being caused by the immiscibility between triglycerides and methanol or ethanol. When the lower alcohol is adsorbed to the immobilized enzyme, the entry of triglycerides is blocked, which causes the reaction to stop. An alcohol with three or more carbon atoms, preferably 2-butanol or tert-butanol, can regenerate the deactivated immobilized enzyme. The present work established that the activity of immobilized lipase could be significantly increased when such alcohols were used for an immersion pretreatment of the enzyme. The activity of the commercially available immobilized enzyme, Novozyme 435, increased about tenfold in comparison to the enzyme not subjected to any pretreatment. Following complete deactivation of the enzyme by methanol, washing with 2-butanol and tert-butanol successfully regenerated the enzyme and restored it to about 56% and 75% of its original activity level, respectively.

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