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Open AccessArticle

Kinetic Parameter Estimation and Mathematical Modelling of Lipase Catalysed Biodiesel Synthesis in a Microreactor

University of Zagreb, Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Marulićev trg 19, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia
University of Zagreb, Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, Pierottijeva 6, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2019, 10(11), 759;
Received: 3 October 2019 / Revised: 30 October 2019 / Accepted: 7 November 2019 / Published: 8 November 2019
Development of green, clean, and sustainable processes presents new challenges in today’s science. Production of fuel is no exception. Considering the utilisation of various renewable sources, the synthesis of biodiesel, characterised as more environmentally-friendly then fossil fuel, has drawn significant attention. Even though the process based on chemical transesterification in a batch reactor still presents the most used method for its production, enzyme catalysed synthesis of biodiesel in a microreactor could be a new approach for going green. In this research, edible sunflower oil and methanol were used as substrates and lipase from Thermomyces lanuginosus (Lipolase L100) was used as catalyst for biodiesel synthesis. Experiments were performed in a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) microreactor with three inlets and in glass microreactors with two and three inlets. For a residence time of 32 min, the fatty acids methyl esters (FAME) yield was 30% higher than the yield obtained for the glass microreactor with three inlets. In comparison, when the reaction was performed in a batch reactor (V = 500 mL), the same FAME yield was achieved after 1.5 h. In order to enhance the productivity of the process, we used proposed reaction kinetics, estimated kinetic parameters, and a mathematical model we developed. After validation using independent experimental data, a proposed model was used for process optimization in order to obtain the highest FAME yield for the shortest residence time.
Keywords: lipase; biodiesel; microreactor; mathematical modelling lipase; biodiesel; microreactor; mathematical modelling
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gojun, M.; Pustahija, L.; Jurinjak Tušek, A.; Šalić, A.; Valinger, D.; Zelić, B. Kinetic Parameter Estimation and Mathematical Modelling of Lipase Catalysed Biodiesel Synthesis in a Microreactor. Micromachines 2019, 10, 759.

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