Solvent-free enzymatic process for biolubricant production in continuous microfluidic reactor

J. Madarász, D. Németh, J. Bakos, L. Gubicza, P. Bakonyi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract Synthesis of environmental-friendly chemicals attracts high attention nowadays, especially when naturally occurring compounds and industrial side-products are utilized. This paper reports for the first time on biolubricant (isoamyl oleate) production via continuous enzymatic reaction in microfluidic reactors (H-Cube™, X-Cube™). The proposed esterification was catalyzed using Novozym 435 enzyme, while substrates used were renewable raw materials: oleic acid and isoamyl alcohol. The latter is a main component of fusel oil, the by-product of bioethanol technology. The aim of this investigation was to evaluate the feasibility of the above-mentioned bioconversion in solvent-free media, considered as a cleaner way ahead. The successful applicability of miniaturized, continuous flow reactors for the biocatalytic reaction was demonstrated since isoamyl oleate could be obtained as long as 144 h in the H-Cube™ without any significant loss of enzyme activity. The highest conversion (98%) was achieved in X-Cube™. The results indicated that biocatalysts loading, residence time of reactants and dewatering of reaction mixture are important parameters and facilitate improved process efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5105
Pages (from-to)140-144
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 2015


  • Biolubricant
  • Enzymatic synthesis
  • Isoamyl oleate
  • Microfluidic reactor
  • Novozym 435

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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