Enzymes are efficient catalysts, their function is to increase reaction velocity and have many fields of applications. Lipases (EC 184.108.40.206) constitute a group of serine hydrolases that catalyze the hydrolysis, esterification and transesterification reactions of long chain acylglycerols. Microbial lipases have been widely used for biotechnological applications due to their specificity. In the transesterification, a trygliceride reacts with an alcohol in the presence of catalyst, producing a mixture of fatty esters and glycerol. These fatty esters can be used for industrial production of many composites. Biodiesel, defined as methyl or ethyl fatty esters and has attracted considerable attention as a renewable source of energy. The main goal of the present work is the screening of thermophilic fungi that present outstanding enzymatic production and in parallel able to perform transesterification reaction. A widely variety of materials ranging from synthetic polymers to zeolites will be used for entrapping the cells or enzymes, due the fact that those immobilized cells or enzymes can easily be retrieved from the reaction mixture and reused, which is more problematic or may eve be impossible for free cells or free enzymes.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: