A Raman spectroscopic approach to investigate the production of biodiesel from soybean oil using 1-alkyl-3-methylimidazolium ionic liquids with intermediate chain length
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2015
We present a Raman spectroscopic study of the conversion of soybean oil into biodiesel by methanol using the lipase B enzyme pseudomonas cepacia as the bio-catalyst and 1-alkyl-3-methylimidazolium ionic liquids (C
Im) as co-solvents, where the alkyl chain length is varied from ethyl (n=2) to decyl (n=10). We have limited this study to a low reaction temperature, 40°C, and a low enzyme concentration to investigate the possibility of producing biodiesel with low energy and cost demands. We also demonstrate that Raman spectroscopy is a powerful and straightforward method to estimate the yield of the transesterification reaction, by analysis of the characteristic CO stretching mode found in the range ~1730-1750cm-1. Our results indicate that both reaction yield and reaction rate increase with the chain length, but also that for chains longer than decyl further improvements are marginal. We discuss these results from the viewpoint of local interactions and local structure of the investigated ionic liquids.