Conceptual Study of Transesterification of Vegetable Oils in the Continuous-Stirred-Tank Reactor at Unsteady-State and Isothermal Conditions

Fadzil Noor Gonawan, Azlina Harun Kamaruddin


The continuous-stirred-tank reactor (CSTR) is favorable for bi-phasic enzymatic reaction due to ease of operation, cost-effective and low downtime. Lack of study on the enzymatic reaction in the CSTR has disfavor this type of reactor compared to batch and packed bed. Presently, a simulation was carried out to simulate the behavior of the lipase-catalyzed production of biodiesel by using CSTR at isothermal conditions. The mathematical model incorporated the effect of the kinetic, thermal, and operating parameters. The parameters such as Michaelis constant (Km), inhibition constant (Ki), Gibbs inactivation energy (DelG) and mol flow rate are among determining factors of the course of the reaction. It is suggested that the enzyme with lower , higher , and higher  should be chosen for the reaction. In continuous operation in the CSTR, the volumetric flow rate of the substrates and the initial concentration of the feed could be used to control reaction performance as these parameters will determine the total mol or ratio of the substrates in the reactor. Most, importantly, the longer residence time is preferred to achieve higher conversion, however, the volumetric flow rate must not be too low to prevent underperformance of reaction.


Enzymatic; CSTR; Transesterification; Biodiesel; Lipase

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