The influence of low-frequency ultrasound (40 kHz) in the esterification reaction between acetic acid and butanol for flavor ester synthesis catalyzed by the commercial immobilized lipase B from Candida antarctica (Novozym 435) was evaluated. A central composite design and the response surface methodology were used to analyze the effects of the reaction parameters (temperature, substrate molar ratio, enzyme content and added water) and their response (yields of conversion in 2.5 h of reaction). The reaction was carried out using n-hexane as solvent. The optimal conditions for ultrasound-assisted butyl acetate synthesis were found to be: temperature of 46 °C; substrate molar ratio of 3.6:1 butanol:acetic acid; enzyme content of 7%; added water of 0.25%, conditions that are slightly different from those found using mechanical mixing. Over 94% of conversion was obtained in 2.5h under these conditions. The optimal acid concentration for the reaction was determined to be 2.0 M, compared to 0.3 M without ultrasound treatment. Enzyme productivity was significantly improved to around 7.5-fold for each batch when comparing ultrasound and standard mechanical agitation. The biocatalyst could be directly reused for 14 reactions cycles keeping around 70% of its original activity, while activity was virtually zeroed in the third cycle using the standard mixing system. Thus, compared to the traditional mechanical agitation, ultrasound technology not only improves the process productivity, but also enhances enzyme recycling and stability in the presence of acetic acid, being a powerful tool to improve biocatalyst performance in this type of reaction.
A new biocatalyst of lipase B from Candida antarctica (MCI-CALB) immobilized on styrene-divinylbenzene beads (MCI GEL CHP20P) was compared with the commercial Novozym 435 (immobilized lipase) in terms of their performances as biocatalysts for the esterification of acetic acid and n-butanol. The effects of experimental conditions on reaction rates differed for each biocatalyst, showing different optimal values for water content, temperature, and substrate molar ratio. MCI-CALB could be used at higher acid concentrations, up to 0.5 M, while Novozym 435 became inactivated at these acid concentrations. Although Novozym 435 exhibited 30% higher initial activity than MCI-CALB for the butyl acetate synthesis, the reaction course was much more linear using the new preparation, meaning that the MCI-CALB allows for higher productivities per cycle. Both preparations produced around 90% of yield conversions after only 2 h of reaction, using 10% (mass fraction) of enzyme. However, the main advantage of the new biocatalyst was the superior performance during reuse. While Novozym 435 was fully inactivated after only two batches, MCI-CALB could be reused for six consecutive cycles without any washings and keeping around 70% of its initial activity. It is proposed that this effect is due to the higher hydrophobicity of the new support, which does not retain water or acid in the enzyme environment. MCI-CALB has shown to be a very promising biocatalyst for the esterification of small-molecule acids and alcohols.
The synthesis of pineapple flavour (butyl butyrate) catalysed by lipase from Rhizomucor miehei has been optimized using central composite design and response surface methodology. Initially, the best butyric acid concentration in the mixture was defined and found that 1 M butyric acid presented the highest initial reaction rate. The reaction parameters substrate molar ratio, enzyme content, and initial added water were evaluated in the central composite design with the reaction conversion yield as the dependent variable. The optimal conditions for butyl butyrate synthesis were found to be substrate molar ratio of 3.6:1 butanol:butyric acid; enzyme content of 6.5% of substrate mass fraction; added water 0.0% of substrate mass fraction. Under these conditions, over 90% of conversion was obtained in 16 h of reaction. Enzyme reuse was tested performing a treatment before each batch by washing the enzyme system with n-hexane, or simply reusing the biocatalyst in a new fresh reaction. Direct enzyme reuse caused a rapid decrease on the enzyme activity, while washings with n-hexane allowed the enzyme to be reused for six cycles keeping around 75% of its original activity.
Butyl butyrate is an ester present in pineapple flavor, which is very important for the food and beverages industries. In this work, the optimization of the reaction of butyl butyrate synthesis catalyzed by the immobilized lipase Lipozyme TL-IM was performed. n-Hexane was selected as the most appropriate solvent. Other reaction parameters such as temperature, substrate molar ratio, biocatalyst content and added water, and their responses measured as yield, were evaluated using a fractional factorial design, followed by a central composite design (CCD) and response surface methodology. In the fractional design 2(4-1) , the four variables were tested and temperature and biocatalyst content were statistically significant and then used for optimization on CCD. The optimal conditions for butyl butyrate synthesis were found to be 48°C; substrate molar ratio 3:1 (butanol:butyric acid); biocatalyst content of 40% of acid mass. Under these conditions, over 90% of yield was obtained in 2 h. Enzyme reuse was tested by washing the biocatalyst with n-hexane or by direct reuse. The direct reuse produced a rapid decrease on enzyme activity, while washing with n-hexane allowed reusing the enzyme for five reactions cycles keeping approximately 85% of its activity.
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