The effect of organic solvents on the equilibrium position of lipase-catalyzed esterification of glycerol and decanoic acid has been investigated. The reaction is carried out in an aqueous-organic two-phase system. In polar solvents, high mole fractions of monoacylglycerol and low mole fractions of triacylglycerol and measured, while in nonpolar solvents, the measured differences in the mole fractions of monodi-, and triacylglycerols are less. There is a good correlation between the ester mole fractions at equilibrium and the log P of the solvent (partition coefficient in n-octanolwater), however, only if the group of tertiary alcohols is excluded. In the plot of the easter mole fractions as a function of the logarithm of hte solubility of water in the organic solvent, the tertiary alcohols can be included; however, in this case other deviations appear.For the prediction of the effect of organic solvents on the ester mole fractions at reaction equilibrium in nondilute reaction systems with a water activity below 1, the program TREP (Two-phase Reaction Equilibrium Prediction) is developed, which is based on the UNIFAC group contribution method. With this model the equilibrium data are essentially predicted from basic thermodynamic data. The required equilibrium constants are estimated from experiments without an organic solvent in the reaction medium. The mole fractions calculated by TREP show the same trends as the experimentally measured mole fractions; however, some variation is observed in the absolute values. These deviations may be due to inaccuracies in the UNIFAC group contribution method. TREP is found to be a correct method to predict within some limits the ester mole fractions at equilibrium for all mixtures of solvents, substrates, and products. The production of monoester can be enhanced in reaction system with a sufficient high concentration of a polar solvent. In experiments with a triglymeto-decanoic acid ratio of 5, almost no di-and triesters can be detected at equilibrium.
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