Craft copolymerization of glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) on to polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) using benzophenone (BP) as initiator was carried out. Grafted PVA was used as carrier for pancreatic lipase immobilization. The effects of GMA and BP concentrations as well as grafting reaction times on grafting yields and activities of the immobilized lipase were determined. The influence of enzyme concentrations was also studied. The optimal conditions for the grafting reaction were: 1 h at 15 mM BP and 2.3 M GMA, the optimum enzyme concentration for immobilization was 1 mg/ml. After optimization of the immobilization process a physical and chemical characterization of the immobilized enzyme was performed. Furthermore, the thermal, pH, storage and operational stability of the immobilized enzyme in comparison to the free form was tested. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.