From Water-in-Oil to Oil-in-Water Emulsions to Optimize the Production of Fatty Acids Using Ionic Liquids in Micellar Systems


Biocatalysis is nowadays considered as one of the most important tools in green chemistry. The elimination of multiple steps involved in some of the most complex chemical synthesis, reducing the amounts of wastes and hazards, thus increasing the reaction yields and decreasing the intrinsic costs, are the major advantages of biocatalysis. This work aims at improving the enzymatic hydrolysis of olive oil to produce valuable fatty acids through emulsion systems formed by long alkyl chain ionic liquids (ILs). The optimization of the emulsion and the best conditions to maximize the production of fatty acids were investigated. The stability of the emulsion was characterized considering the effect of several parameters, namely, the IL and its concentration and different water/olive oil volumetric ratios. ILs from the imidazolium and phosphonium families were evaluated. The results suggest that the ILs effect on the hydrolysis performance varies with the water concentration and the emulsion system formed, that is, water-in-oil or oil-in-water emulsion. Although at low water concentrations, the presence of ILs does not present any advantages for the hydrolysis reaction, at high water contents (in oil-in-water emulsions), the imidazolium-based IL acts as an enhancer of the lipase catalytic capacity, super-activating 1.8 times the enzyme, and consequently promoting the complete hydrolysis of the olive oil for the highest water contents [85% (v/v)]. (C) 2015 American Institute of Chemical Engineers




Biotechnology & Applied Microbiology; Food Science & Technology


Santos, LDF; Coutinho, JAP; Ventura, SPM

nossos autores


This work was developed in the scope of the project CICECO, Aveiro Institute of Materials (Ref. FCT UID/CTM/50011/2013), financed by national funds through the FCT/MEC and when applicable cofinanced by FEDER under the PT2020 Partnership Agreement. The authors thank FCT for the postdoctoral grant SFRH/BPD/79263/2011 to S. P. M. Ventura. The authors also thank Novozymes A/S, Bagsvaerd, Denmark, for supplying the enzyme and to Cytec for the kind supply of the phosphonium IL used in this investigation.

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