Abstract A new immobilized lipase membrane reactor was studied for synthesis of 2-ethylhexyl palmitate. The lipase from Candida sp. 99–125 was immobilized on surfactant modified cotton membrane (130 IU/cm 2). The conditions of enzymatic synthesis of 2-ethylhexyl palmitate were optimized and the optimized reaction conditions are: molar ratio of palmitic acid/hexanol 1:1.3 to 1:1.5, reaction temperature 40 °C, lipase used in immobilization 5000 IU/g membrane to 6000 IU/g membrane. The membrane reactor could be reused for at least 21 batches. The average esterification degree reached 95% under these conditions. 2-Ethylhexyl palmitate was purified by washing with water followed by evaporation of the organic solvent and the purity of 98% could be obtained.