Enzymatic synthesis of terpenyl esters by esterification or transesterification with fatty acid vinyl esters as acyl donors by celite-adsorbed lipase of Trichosporon fermentans was investigated. In direct esterification of geraniol, the lipase showed high reactivity toward fatty acids with carbon chains longer than C-8, but little reactivity toward fatty acids with shorter chains. With fatty acid vinyl esters as acyl donors, the lipase catalysed the synthesis of geranyl and citronellyl esters with carbon chains shorter than C-6 in with yields of >90% molar conversion. Time course, effects of added water, temperature and substrate concentration were studied for the synthesis of geranyl acetate. Molar conversion yield reached 97.5% after 5 h incubation at 30-40 °C with the addition of 3% water. In this reaction, no inhibition by substrates such as geraniol and vinyl acetate was observed.
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