Cost analysis of oil cake-to-biodiesel production in packed-bed micro-flow reactors with immobilized lipases

Sandra Budžaki, Smitha Sundaram, Marina Tišma, Volker Hessel (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Biodiesel production depends to a great extent on the use of cheap raw materials, since biodiesel itself is a mass product, not a high-value product. New processing methods, such as micro-flow continuous processing combined with enzymatic catalysis, open doors to the latter. As reported here, the window of opportunity in enzyme-catalyzed biodiesel production is the conversion of waste cooking oil. The main technological challenge for this is to obtain efficient immobilization of the lipase catalyst on beads. The beads can be filled into tubular reactors where designed packed-bed provide porous channels, forming micro-flow. It turns out, that in this way, the immobilization costs become the decisive economic factor. This paper reports a solution to that issue. The use of oil cake enables economic viability, which is not given by any of the commercial polymeric substrates used so far for enzyme immobilization. The costs of immobilization are mirrored in the earnings and cash flow of the new biotechnological process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-102
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Bioscience and Bioengineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


  • Biodiesel
  • Cost-benefit
  • Immobilized lipase
  • Oil cake
  • Packed-bed microreactor
  • Cooking
  • Biofuels/analysis
  • Humans
  • Lab-On-A-Chip Devices/economics
  • Enzymes, Immobilized/economics
  • Microtechnology/instrumentation
  • Esterification
  • Plant Oils/chemistry
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated/economics
  • Bioreactors/economics
  • Lipase/metabolism
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Biotechnology/economics
  • Catalysis


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