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Biodiesel production from vegetable oils using immobilized whole cells with high lipase activity (Glycerol Ester Hydrolase - E.C.

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Grazielle Santos Silva Andrade
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: Lorena.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Escola de Engenharia de Lorena (EEL/ASDI)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Heizir Ferreira de Castro; Telma Teixeira Franco; Maria Bernadete de Medeiros; Adriano Aguiar Mendes; Ernandes Benedito Pereira
Advisor: Heizir Ferreira de Castro

The objective of this work was contributed in developing techniques to obtain immobilized biocatalysts with low cost and high catalytic activity to be applied in the biodiesel synthesis by ethanol route. It is based on the utilization of filamentous fungi whole cells with high lipase activity (glycerol ester hydrolase - E.C. immobilized in suitable support. The experimental work was developed in different ways and started by screening fungi strains acquired from National Culture Collection which has the ability to produce intracellular lipase in submerse cultivation. Through lipase activity the fungi strains: Rhizopus oryzae (3231 and 4692), Mucor circinelloides (4140 e 4182) and Penicillium citrinum (4216) were selected. Tests to evaluate the biomass immobilization by physical adsorption (in situ and extra-situ) using the supports: polyurethane foam, Celite and polyhidroxybutyrate were carried out. The best performance was attained by polyurethane matrix that allowed attain high biomass concentration for all strain fungi, except for P. citrinum (4216). Additional tests were performed to complement the physical and morphological properties of support and immobilized system. Results indicated that polyurethane foam cut in cubes 6-mm were suitable to provide full adsorption of biomass from all selected fungi strains, specially strain of M. circinelloides 4182 displayed high catalytic activity in the transesterification reaction. Consequently, cultivation conditions of this strain were studied, evaluating the carbon and nitrogen sources, aeration and inoculum level. The biocatalyst obtained under the best conditions (lipase activity = 65 U/g) was used in the ethanolysis of babassu oil and the process was optimized by experimental design. The influence of temperature (33 - 47?C) and ethanol to oil molar ratio (4.8:1 - 13.2:1) were investigated in the transesterification yield. Under the optimized conditions (35°C and oil to ethanol molar ratio 6:1) transesterification yield of 90.5% was obtained employing 20% wt. of biocatalyst and tert-butanol as solvent. The biocatalyst operational stability was assessed under consecutive batch runs and continuous system. Satisfactory results were attained in both systems, however, the continuous system avoided cells desorption from support, revealing biocatalyst half life higher than 20 days. Finally, the influence of vegetable oils with different fatty acid compositions (babassu, andiroba, macauba, Jatropha, palm) was studied in the ethanolysis reaction, being evidenced the specificity of the biocatalyst to transesterify medium chain fatty acids as presented in babassu and macauba oils. The results obtained were promise and demonstrated the potential of filamentous fungi whole cells immobilized as biocatalysts in the biodiesel synthesis, with prominence to the performance of Mucor circinelloides 4182 strain. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 07/08430-3 - Biodiesel production from vegetables oils using immobilized whole cells with high lipolytic activity (glycerol ester hydrolase - E.C.
Grantee:Grazielle Santos Silva Andrade
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)