In this study, the evaluation of the catalytic behavior of several wild bacterial strains in the 1,3-selective ethanolysis of triglycerides with ethanol to produce a new type of biodiesel (Ecodiesel) that integrates glycerol as monoacylglycerols was carried out. The Ecodiesel production not only avoids the elimination of glycerol, which is largely generated as a by-product in the biodiesel industry, but also results in an increase in the biofuel yield. The wild microbial strain samples were obtained from several lipophilic organisms. In addition to evaluate the enzymatic extracts, the minimum grade of purification of the strains, necessary to obtain similar results to those attained with commercial lipases was studied. This purification treatment included a dialysis followed by a lyophilization process. Such extracts were directly used as biocatalysts in the transesterification reaction of sunflower oil with ethanol, attaining much better results (yield close to 100%) than those obtained with strains which were not submitted to the purification process (yields lower than 10%). Furthermore, the results here obtained are similar to those obtained with commercial lipases but were achieved under mild conditions and lower reaction time (2 h). In addition, the stability of the enzymatic extracts was corroborated by subsequent reactions, showing no loss of activity. Thus, this study brings to light that enzymatic extracts obtained by a very simple purification process can be economically competitive with the conventional biodiesel production methods.
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