This work is focused on the esterification of fatty acids (commercial oleic mix) with zinc carboxylates (layered metal soap). About 25 experiments were performed, with and without catalyst, yielding a kinetic model based on the Eley–Rideal approach, able to predict fatty acid conversions under different conditions (molar ratio fatty acids/ethanol and temperature). An apparent first order reaction with respect to both reactants with no diffusion limitations was proposed. The activation energy of 80 kJ/mol was found. Fatty acid conversion up to 92% was reached under some conditions and the catalytic yields compared to the blank ones reached 40% in less than 90 min of reaction. This catalyst has shown a unique behavior among all other catalysts available for esterification, acting similarly to a homogeneous catalyst during the reaction but being recovered like a heterogenous catalyst at the end of the process.
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
|MoE publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|