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Hemijska industrija 2010 Volume 64, Issue 1, Pages: 1-8
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Lipases as biocatalysts for biodiesel production

Ognjanović Nevena D., Petrović Slobodan D., Bezbradica Dejan I., Knežević-Jugović Zorica D.

Lipases can be used for a variety of biotechnological applications: synthesis of fine chemicals, therapeutics, agrochemicals, cosmetics, flavors, biopolymers and biodiesel. Biodiesel is an alternative fuel for diesel engines that is environmentally acceptable. Conventionally, biodiesel is produced by transesterification of triglycerides and short chain alcohols in the presence of an acid or an alkaline catalyst. There are several problems associated with this kind of production that can be resolved by using lipase as the biocatalyst. The usage of lipases has several advantages over the conventional chemical methods. It is considered as less energy intensive and environmentally friendly. However, there are two main obstacles associated with the effective utilization of lipases in the production of biodiesel. The main one is the cost of the enzyme and its poor stability in the presence of excess alcohol. Several strategies are proposed to overcome these drawbacks: immobilization of lipases, stepwise addition of alcohol, and the usage of novel acyl acceptors and the usage of whole cell biocatalysts.

Keywords: lipases, biodiesel, transesterification, esters

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