The aim of this project is to develop an efficient system for the enzymatic production of monoglycerides in solvent free system, using the direct esterification (glycerol and fatty acids) and glycerolysis (glycerol and vegetable oils) routes. The process should be simple and easy handling with low energy consumption and reduction of residues, allowing obtaining satisfactory results that can be comparable with those obtained by chemical route. The main aspects that will be approached includes the evaluation of strategies for production of MAG by esterification and glycerolysis in different bioreactor configurations operating under discontinuous or continuous mode, taking into consideration peculiar aspects of each route, such as water removal along the esterification reactions or the use of inert atmosphere to avoid the oil oxidation during the glycerolysis reactions. Another aspect to be approached is to operate the reactor under feed-batch mode since high glycerol concentrations can inhibit reactions catalyzed by lipases, although its excess favors the formation of MAG. An additional strategy to be tested includes the use of reactions assisted by microwaves. This is a recent technique and few studies carried out under microwave irradiations proved to be a clean, cheap and convenient method that affords higher yield and results in shorter reaction times, among other benefits. In relation to the state of art there are no national published works that contemplate the strategies proposed in this project.
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