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Biocatalytic esterification of fatty acids using a low-cost fermented solid from solid-state fermentation with Yarrowia lipolytica

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Abstract

This study aimed to evaluate the use of a lyophilized fermented solid (named solid enzymatic preparation, SEP), with lipase activity, as a low-cost biocatalyst for esterification reactions of fatty acids present in acid raw materials for biodiesel synthesis. The SEP was obtained by solid-state fermentation (SSF) of soybean bran using the strain of Yarrowia lipolytica IMUFRJ 50682 and contains the lipases secreted by this yeast. The esterification reaction of ethanol and the predominant fatty acids present in different acid oil sources for biodiesel production (oleic, linoleic, stearic and palmitic acids) was investigated. Oleic acid conversion of above 85% was obtained after 24 h, using 30 wt% of SEP and ethanol/oleic acid molar ratio of 1, at 30 °C, in a reaction medium with and without solvent (n-hexane). Similar results were achieved with stearic (79%), palmitic (82%) and linoleic (90%) acids. The reusability of SEP was investigated over ten successive batches by washing it with different solvents (ethanol, water or n-hexane) between the cycles of ethyl oleate synthesis. Washing with water allowed the SEP to be reused for six cycles maintaining over 80% of the conversion reached in the first cycle. These results show the potential of this biocatalyst to reduce the content of free fatty acids in acid oils for biodiesel synthesis with a potential to be applied in a broad plethora of raw materials.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank PETROBRAS and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Brasil (CAPES) for the financial support received for this research.

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Correspondence to Marta Antunes Pereira Langone.

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da Silva, J.R., de Souza, C.E.C., Valoni, E. et al. Biocatalytic esterification of fatty acids using a low-cost fermented solid from solid-state fermentation with Yarrowia lipolytica. 3 Biotech 9, 38 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13205-018-1550-2

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