, Volume 33, Issue 9, pp 1059-1065
Date: 26 May 2010

Biosynthesis of glycerol carbonate from glycerol by lipase in dimethyl carbonate as the solvent

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Glycerol carbonate was synthesized from renewable glycerol and dimethyl carbonate using lipase in solvent-free reaction system in which excess dimethyl carbonate played as the reaction medium. A variety of lipases have been tested for their abilities to catalyze transesterification reaction, and Candida antartica lipase B and Novozyme 435 exhibited higher catalytic activities. The silica-coated glycerol with a 1:1 ratio was supplied to prevent two-phase formation between hydrophobic dimethyl carbonate and hydrophilic glycerol. Glycerol carbonate was successfully synthesized with more than 90% conversion from dimethyl carbonate and glycerol with a molar ratio of 10 using Novozyme 435-catalyzed transesterification at 70 °C. The Novozyme 435 [5% (w/w) and 20% (w/w)] and silica gel were more than four times recycled with good stability in a repeated batch operation for the solvent-free synthesis of glycerol carbonate.