Enzymatic-catalyzed esterification of free fatty acids to methyl esters

M. A. Agerbaek, R. B. Hansen, P. M. Nielsen, A. Rancke-Madsen*, J. M. Woodley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearch


Enzymatic transesterification of fatty acid oils to fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) is a wellestablished process involving an enzymatically catalyzed transesterification reaction step with yields greater than 97%. The unreacted residual consists primarily of free fatty acids (FFA), which contribute to the acid value (mg KOH/g biodiesel) and are typically 2–3 wt%. Water is critical to the stability and activity of the enzyme employed in the transesterification reaction. Consequently, reducing the residual FFA further is not possible with the existing process.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)12-15
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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