The process of biodiesel production from soybean oil using Lipozyme TL IM, a 1, 3-position specific lipase from Thermomyces lanuginosus, was used to study the activity of the lipase when crosslinked to magnetic iron (III) oxide nanoparticles. Enzymatic transesterification of biodiesel is expensive but by crosslinking the enzymes to the nanoparticles, the enzymes can be recycled and reused. The enzyme-nanoparticle (ENP) complexes can be immobilized out of the reaction simply by using a magnetic bar. Our preliminary results showed that the recyclable enzyme-nanoparticle complexes were promising in enzymatic transesterification of soybean oil toward biodiesel with comparable activity to the free lipase.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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Chemistry and Biochemistry