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Chemoenzymatic Epoxidation of Limonene Using a Novel Surface-Functionalized Silica Catalyst Derived from Agricultural Waste

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journal contribution
posted on 31.08.2020, 12:33 by Harshada M. Salvi, Ganapati D. Yadav
Limonene is one of the most important terpenes having wide applications in food and fragrance industries. The epoxide of limonene, limonene oxide, finds important applications as a versatile synthetic intermediate in the chemical industry. Therefore, attempts have been made to synthesize limonene oxide using eco-friendly processes because of stringent regulations on its production. In this regard, we have attempted to synthesize it using a cost-effective and eco-friendly process. Chemoenzymatic epoxidation of limonene to limonene oxide was carried out using in situ generation of peroxy octanoic acid from octanoic acid and H2O2. In this study, agricultural-waste rice husk ash (RHA)-derived silica was surface-functionalized using (3-aminopropyl) triethoxysilane (APTS), which was cross-linked using glutaraldehyde for immobilization of Candida antarctica lipase B. Furthermore, the immobilized enzyme was entrapped in calcium alginate beads to avoid enzyme leaching. Thus, limonene oxide was prepared using this catalyst under conventional and microwave heating. The microwave irradiation intensifies the process, reducing the reaction time under the same conditions. Maximum conversion of limonene to limonene oxide of 75.35 ± 0.98% was obtained in 2 h at 50 °C using a microwave power of 50 W. In the absence of microwave irradiation, the conventional heating gave 44.6 ± 1.14% conversion in 12 h. The reaction mechanism was studied using the Lineweaver–Burk plot, which follows a ternary complex mechanism with inhibition due to peroxyoctanoic acid (in other words H2O2). The prepared catalyst shows high reusability and operational stability up to four cycles.