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PublicationUltrasonic Sonochemistry

The combined use of ultrasound and molecular sieves improves the synthesis of ethyl butyrate catalyzed by immobilized Thermomyces lanuginosus lipase

Authors:Roberto Fernandez-Lafuente
Groups of research:Optimization of biocatalysts and bioprocesses
Natalia Paludo1, Joana S. Alves1, Cintia Altmann1, Marco A. Z. Ayub1, Roberto Fernandez-Lafuente2, Rafael C. Rodrigues1
1Biotechnology, Bioprocess and Biocatalysis Group, Institute of Food Science and Technology, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Bento Gonçalves, 9500, P.O. Box 15090, ZC 91501-970, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil;
2Department of Biocatalysis, ICP – CSIC, Campus UAM-CSIC, Cantoblanco, ZC 28049, Madrid, Spain.

In this work, the combined use of ultrasound energy and molecular sieves was investigated for the synthesis of ethyl butyrate, ester with mango and banana notes, catalyzed by the immobilized lipase from Thermomyces lanuginosus (Lipozyme TL-IM). Initially, the best concentrations of biocatalysts (35 %) and butyric acid (0.7 M) were tested using ultrasound as an alternative to mechanical agitation. The amount of acid in the reaction could be increased by 2-fold when compared to previous works where mechanical agitation was used. In the next step, substrate molar ratio and reaction temperature were optimized and the best conditions were at their lowest levels: 1:1 (acid:alcohol), and 30 ºC, reaching 61 % of conversion in 6 h. Molecular sieves (3 Å) were added to optimized reaction medium in order to remove the formed water and improve the maximum yield. The reaction yield increased 1.5 times, reaching 90 % of conversion in 6 h, when 60 mg of molecular sieves per mmol of butyric acid was used. Finally, the reuse of Lipozyme TL-IM for the ultrasound-assisted synthesis of ethyl butyrate was verified for 10 batches, without any appreciable loss of activity, whereas in systems using mechanical agitation, the biocatalyst was completely inactivated after 5 batches. These results suggest that the combined use of ultrasound and molecular sieves greatly improve esterification reactions by stabilizing the enzyme and increasing yields.
Keywords:Esterification reactions; ultrasound; molecular sieves; lipases; Lipozyme TL-IM; operational stability
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