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Biodiesel production from vegetables oils using immobilized whole cells with high lipolytic activity (glycerol ester hydrolase - E.C. 3.1.1.3)

Grant number: 07/08430-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2008
Effective date (End): February 29, 2012
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering
Principal Investigator:Heizir Ferreira de Castro
Grantee:Grazielle dos Santos Silva
Home Institution: Escola de Engenharia de Lorena (EEL). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Lorena , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Biodiesel is a renewable fuel from transesterification of vegetable oils and animal fats with short chain alcohols (methanol or ethanol). In addition to represent the development of a new market for the vegetable oils and animal fats, the biodiesel production will enhance the ethanol segment (technological route that will be use in this project for biodiesel production). In Brazil the use of biodiesel is authorized in proportional of 2%, which create a market close to 800 millions of liter per year for this new fuel, allowing saving up to US$ 160 millions per year. To increase the biodiesel production route and contribute to its production expansion in short and long terms, this project aims to study the biodiesel production at laboratory scale from vegetable oils and ethanol using whole cells with high lipolytic activity (glycerol ester hydrolase - E.C. 3.1.1.3) immobilized in suitable solid supports. The main aspects that will be approached are: a) the selection of high producer intracellular lipase microorganism strain; b) immobilization of selected strain (whole cells) in suitable supports; and c) assessment the performance of the immobilized system in biodiesel reaction from vegetable oils and ethanol. This approach will allow the cost reduction to obtain the product of interested, involving less basic operations. This also avoids problems with waste and the use of aggressive catalysts like strong acids and bases. In this way, clear process that can be confronted with the traditional process in both economical and industrial points of view, imply an important benefit to renewable fuel production. In conclusion, this is a strategic project of oleochemical/energetic that claiming to contribute in development of technologies which allow replacing products traditionally obtained from non renewable resources for renewable ones. The propose project fits in the mainly research line of Biocatalyst Laboratory from Engineering School of Lorena and is linked two projects under development: jovem pesquisador "Nucleation of a new group of research 'technology of process in enzymatic reactors' using technologies emergent for reestruturation of milk fat" (Process FAPESP 04/12329-8) and research aid "Integrated production of biodiesel and emulsifiers from babassu oil using immobilized stable derivatives from pancreatic and microbial lipases" (Process FAPESP 04/16017-0). (AU)