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Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 29, Issue 12, pp 1881–1885 | Cite as

Ionic liquids as a reaction medium for lipase-catalyzed methanolysis of sunflower oil

  • S. Sunitha
  • S. Kanjilal
  • P. S. Reddy
  • R. B. N. PrasadEmail author
Original Research Paper

Abstract

Ionic liquids, 1-butyl-3-methyl imidazolium hexafluorophosphate ([BMIm][PF6]) and 1-ethyl-3-methyl imidazolium hexafluorophosphate ([EMIm][PF6]), were used for the methanolysis of sunflower oil using Candida antarctica lipase (Novozyme 435) and gave yields of fatty acid methyl esters at 98–99% within 10 h. The optimum conditions of methanolysis in hydrophobic ionic liquids are 2% (w/w) lipase, 1:1 (w/w) oil/ionic liquid and 1:8 (mol/mol) oil/methanol at 58–60°C. Methanolysis using hydrophilic ionic liquids, 3-methyl imidazolium tetrafluoroborate ([HMIm][BF4]) and 1-butyl-3-methyl imidazolium tetrafluoroborate ([BMIm][BF4]), gave very poor yields. A hydrophobic ionic liquid thus protects the lipase from methanol. Recovered ionic liquids and lipase were used for four successive reaction cycles without any significant loss of activity.

Keywords

Fatty acid methyl ester Ionic liquid Lipase Methanolysis Sunflower oil 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Sunitha
    • 1
  • S. Kanjilal
    • 1
  • P. S. Reddy
    • 1
  • R. B. N. Prasad
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Lipid Science and Technology DivisionIndian Institute of Chemical TechnologyHyderabadIndia

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