Ca-alginate spheres behavior in presence of some solvents and water-solvent mixtures

DOI: 10.4236/abb.2011.21002   PDF   HTML     6,953 Downloads   14,808 Views   Citations


Immobilization systems more frequently used are calcium alginate spheres. These biocatalysts have many potential applications in the immobilization of enzymes, prokaryotic cells, vegetal and animal cells, algae, organelles and mixtures of these living components. Other applications of immobilized cells imply the use of non aqueous systems. Some bioconversions are carried out in the presence of solvents such as hexane acetone or acetonitrile, or mixtures water-solvents. The aim of this work was to investigate the behaviour of Ca-alginate spheres when put in contact with different solvents (water, diesel, ethanol, methanol, acetone, n-hexane, isopropyl alcohol, THF, acetonitrile, and toluene), or solvent-water mixtures (i.e., ethanol-water), regarding the resistance of the alginate spheres after days of contact. Calcium alginate particles suffered different damages, depending on the solvent they were put in contact. Water did not damaged the Ca-alginate structure with or without Ca present. On the other hand different solvents lost a proportion of volume, i.e., n-hexane (16%), methanol (19%), ethanol (19.5%), toluene (22%), diesel (34%), acetone (765), isopropyl alcohol (80%), THF and acetonitrile (total loss, total destruction). Nor the dielectric constant nor the polarity indexes were capable of explaining the difference on the volume loss or total sphere destruction, except for water-ethanol mixtures.

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Torres, L. , Velasquez, A. and Brito-Arias, M. (2011) Ca-alginate spheres behavior in presence of some solvents and water-solvent mixtures. Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology, 2, 8-12. doi: 10.4236/abb.2011.21002.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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