Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Vol.45, No.5, 387-397, 1995
Working at Controlled Water Activity in a Continuous Process - The Gas-Solid System as a Solution
Fusarium solani cutinase and Candida cylindracea lipase were used to catalyze a transesterification reaction in a continuous gas/solid bioreactor. In this system, a solid phase composed of a packed enzymatic preparation was continuously percolated with carrier gas which fed substrate and removed reaction products simultaneously. Different conditions of immobilization were used and compared to the results obtained with a nonsupported enzyme. The enzymatic activity was found to be highly dependent of a key parameter : water activity (a(w)). Biocatalyst stability was greatly influenced by water activity and the choice of immobilization technique for the enzymatic material. For free and adsorbed enzymes, water requirements exhibited optima which corresponded to the complete hydration coverage of the protein. These optima presented a good correlation with the isotherm sorption curves obtained for the different preparations. In this work are reported the results concerning the possibility of using a continuous system able to operate at controlled water activity in a heterogeneous medium. Lipolytic enzyme in such a system appears to be a new process for the biotransformation of volatile esters.