Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 135, Issue 1, pp 1–14 | Cite as

Enzyme catalyzed production of biodiesel from olive oil

  • Fernando Sanchez
  • Palligarnai T. VasudevanEmail author
Original Research Articles


Biodiesel (fatty acid methyl esters) was produced by transesterification of triglycerides (triolein) present in olive oil with methanol and Novozym®435.

The effect of the molar ratio of methanol to triolein, semibatch (stepwise addition of methanol) vs batch operation, enzyme activity, and reaction temperature on overall conversion was determined. Stepwise methanolysis with a 3∶1 methanol to triolein molar ratio and an overall ration of 8∶1 gave the best results. The final conversion and yield of biodiesel were unaffected by initial enzyme concentrations greater than 500 U/mL olive oil. The optimum reaction temperature was 60°C.

Comparison of conversion data between a test-tube scale reactor and a 2-L batch reactor revealed that the difference in conversion was within 10%. Experiments were also carried out with used cooking oil; the conversion with used cooking oil was slightly lower but no major differences were observed.

The efficacy of Novozym435 was determined by reusing the enzyme; although the enzyme's relative activity decreased with reuse, it still retained 95% of its activity after five batches and more than 70% after as many as eight batches.

Index Entries

Biodiesel Novozym435 lipase 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of New HampshireDurham

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