• Vol 10, No 3 (2019)
  • Chemical Engineering

Performances of Free and Immobilized Frangipani (Plumeria Rubra) Latex Lipase in Palm Oil Lipolysis

Astri Nur Istyami, Ronny Purwadi, Made Tri Ari Penia Kresnowati, Tirto Prakoso, Tatang Hernas Soerawidjaja

Corresponding email: anistyami@che.itb.ac.id


Cite this article as:
Istyami, A.N., Purwadi, R., Kresnowati, M.T.A.P., Prakoso, T.Soerawidjaja, T.H., 2019. Performances of Free and Immobilized Frangipani (Plumeria Rubra) Latex Lipase in Palm Oil Lipolysis. International Journal of Technology. Volume 10(3), pp. 463-471
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Astri Nur Istyami Department of Bioenergy Engineering and Chemurgy, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Jl. Raya Jatinangor KM 20.75, Kabupaten Sumedang 45363, Indonesia
Ronny Purwadi Department of Food Engineering, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Jl. Raya Jatinangor KM 20.75, Kabupaten Sumedang 45363, Indonesia
Made Tri Ari Penia Kresnowati Department of Food Engineering, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Jl. Raya Jatinangor KM 20.75, Kabupaten Sumedang 45363, Indonesia
Tirto Prakoso Department of Bioenergy Engineering and Chemurgy, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Jl. Raya Jatinangor KM 20.75, Kabupaten Sumedang 45363, Indonesia
Tatang Hernas Soerawidjaja Department of Bioenergy Engineering and Chemurgy, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Jl. Raya Jatinangor KM 20.75, Kabupaten Sumedang 45363, Indonesia
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Abstract
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Free fatty acid, which is an important intermediate product in the oleochemical industry, can be produced by hydrolysis of oil using lipase enzymes. This process is more economical and less energy consuming than the conventional process, i.e. noncatalytic thermal hydrolysis. While lipase from microorganisms requires a complex separation step, that from plants involves lower cost and easier handling. Nevertheless, no report has been published on the immobilization of plant latex-based lipase, while immobilization to increase the economic feasibility of microbial lipases has been widely reported. The aim of this study is to compare the performance of free and immobilized frangipani latex lipase in palm oil lipolysis. Immobilization was conducted by physical adsorption using hydrophobic supports and matrix encapsulation. The adsorption of frangipani latex lipase onto polypropylene and polyethylene beads was found to be ineffective, although the presence of the beads did slightly increase the degree of lipolysis. On the other hand, encapsulation with a calcium alginate matrix was effective in immobilizing particulate latex, although the calcium alginate beads were susceptible to breaking, causing contamination of the lipolysis product. To develop lipolysis technology utilizing frangipani latex lipase, free form lipase is more suitable in small-scale, stirred-tank lipolysis, while lipolysis with immobilized lipase from frangipani latex requires further modification, such as use of a packed bed reactor, circulated flow, or matrix modification.

Fatty acids; Frangipani; Immobilized lipase; Latex lipase; Lipolysis

Introduction

As the world is showing great interest in sustainable industry, demand for oleochemical products has increased in the last decades. These products are slowly replacing petrochemical ones, including surfactants, plastics, lubricants, and even fuels. One of the most important reactions involved in the oleochemical industry is the conversion of triglyceride into fatty acids, which is encountered in most plant oil processing into derivative products. With the potential for increasing demand in the future, it is necessary to ensure that fatty acid production technology is energy-efficient, cost-efficient, and effective.

Noncatalytic thermal hydrolysis of triglyceride is the current technology employed for fatty acid production. It is a robust (260oC, 50 bar) and high-energy-consuming process (Barnebey & Brown, 1948). The high temperature of the hydrolysis triggers unwanted reactions (Mounguengui et al., 2013), so a process involving milder conditions is preferable to avoid these drawbacks.

Lipase (EC 3.1.1.3) is an enzyme which catalyzes triglyceride hydrolysis (or lipolysis, when lipase is used). Lipases from bacteria and fungi have been studied for a long time, and some have been commercially produced. Although they are readily available in large quantities, their application in industrial lipolysis is limited by their high production cost (Seth et al., 2014). Other natural sources of lipase have emerged as alternatives; for example, plant seeds (Barros et al., 2010) and plant latex (Mazou et al., 2016). One remarkably active lipase source is frangipani (Plumeria rubra) latex particulate (Cambon et al., 2006). With the abundance of frangipani trees in warm regions, it is potentially feasible to develop small-scale production plants of fatty acids in rural areas.

Immobilization techniques has been utilized to improve the economic feasibility of enzyme utilization. They enable enzymes to be reused after reactions, and in some rare cases increase enzymes activity (Bastida et al., 1998). Among the immobilization methods, for instance adsorption, entrapment (encapsulation), cross-linking and covalent bonds, adsorption has been the most widely used technique. Besides being practical, it causes less deterioration to enzyme activity. In some cases, adsorption can also combined with other methods (Aliyah et al., 2016). Similar to adsorption, entrapment in a resin matrix is a technique with a minimum deterioration effect. Although immobilization increases the reusability of enzymes, it frequently decreases their activity. Considering these possibilities, it is important to evaluate the application of both immobilized and free enzymes.

Frangipani (Plumeria rubra) latex is a source of lipase which displays remarkable activity (Cambon et al., 2006). Our previous work shows that the lipolytic activity of frangipani latex is found in the particulate fraction. However, its solid particulates are easily dissolved in an oil-water mixture and cannot be retained after a lipolysis reaction. Immobilization, despite involving more process steps, might reduce operational costs by the recycling of frangipani latex lipase. On the other hand, non-immobilized lipase is easier to prepare, although it is only available for single use.  To develop a lipolysis technology utilizing frangipani latex lipase, it is important to evaluate its performance, both in immobilized and free (non-immobilized) form.

The aim of this study is to compare the performance of immobilized lipase and free lipase from frangipani (Plumeria rubra) latex particulates. The feasibility of such immobilization is evaluated in the study, and the effect of denaturation is expected to be minimal. Immobilization was conducted with methods that are less susceptible to enzyme denaturation, namely adsorption and encapsulation (or entrapment). Frangipani latex lipase, in free or immobilized form, could be a potential biocatalyst for fatty acid production with low capital and operational costs, easy handling, and applicability in rural areas. An effective method for immobilizing latex lipase will also be applicable for lipase in solid form, such as dry extract lipase from microorganisms (Hermansyah et al., 2018).

Conclusion

Immobilization methods for frangipani crude latex have been compared. Adsorption of particulate latex lipase was ineffective, although it works on liquid microbial lipase. Immobilization was successfully achieved with encapsulation in a calcium alginate matrix, producing a lower, yet homogenous, degree of lipolysis. This enables recycling of lipase, although with limited frequency, and it is also susceptible to contamination from broken matrix.  The performance of free and immobilized lipases has also been evaluated. Free lipases produce a higher, yet heterogenous, degree of lipolysis than immobilized lipases. They are more suitable for small-scale lipolysis with a stirred tank to produce technical grade fatty acid. Meanwhile, immobilization of latex lipase requires further modification, such as use of a packed bed reactor, circulated flow, or matrix modification.

Acknowledgement

The authors are grateful to the Faculty of Industrial Technology, Institut Teknologi Bandung, for publication funding via a research grant awarded through the Research, Community Service and Innovation Program 2018 scheme, with Contract No. 0851b/I1.C06.2/PL/2018. 

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