Submitted to: Green Chemistry
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/26/2003
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Concerns have been raised about the potental adverse health and ecological effects of the commonly used sunscreen active ingredients. A sunscreen active ingredient can be derived from two natural plant components, ferulic acid and triglycerides. Transesterification of ferulic acid ethyl ester with vegetable oil produces a mixture of feruloylated monoacyl- and diacylglycerols that have a strong UVA/B absorbance. The reaction is catalyzed by an immobilized lipase. We examined the influence of operating conditions on the service life of the immobilized enzyme in packed beds. Unreacted ferulic acid ethyl ester and ethyl esters of fatty acids can be separated from the product using liquid carbon dioxide extraction or molecular distillation. The recovered materials can be converted to sunscreen product by a second round of reaction with the biocatalyst, demonstrating a synthesis of a plant-derived, environmentally benign sunscreen.