Kinetics and mechanism of the cutinase-catalyzed transesterification of oils in AOT reversed micellar system.
ABSTRACT The kinetics of the enzymatic transesterification between a mixture of triglycerides (oils) and methanol for biodiesel production in a bis(2-ethylhexyl) sodium sulfosuccinate (AOT)/isooctane reversed micellar system, using recombinant cutinase from Fusarium solani pisi as a catalyst, was investigated. In order to describe the results that were obtained, a mechanistic scheme was proposed, based on the literature and on the experimental data. This scheme includes the following reaction steps: the formation of the active enzyme-substrate complex, the addition of an alcohol molecule to the complex followed by the separation of a molecule of the fatty acid alkyl ester and a glycerol moiety, and release of the active enzyme. Enzyme inhibition and deactivation effects due to methanol and glycerol were incorporated in the model. This kinetic model was fitted to the concentration profiles of the fatty acid methyl esters (the components of biodiesel), tri-, di- and monoglycerides, obtained for a 24 h transesterification reaction performed in a stirred batch reactor under different reaction conditions of enzyme and initial substrates concentration.