Esterification kinetics of propanoic acid with ethanol, 1-propanol and butanol over a fibrous polymer-supported sulphonic acid catalyst (Smopex-101) was studied. Experiments were carried out in a batch reactor operating isothermally at three different temperatures: 60, 70 and 75 degrees C (80 degrees C for butanol) and with different initial molar ratios of propanoic acid and alcohol (1:1, 1:2 and 2:1). The fiber catalyst was active and stable in all the experiments. The experimental results were modeled according to a Langmuir-Hinshelwood model and with an advanced adsorption-based model. The activity coefficients were calculated according to the UNIFAC model. The activation energy of esterification of propanoic acid with ethanol was found to be 52.6 kJ/mol, 49.9 kJ/mol with 1-propanol and 47.3 kJ/mol with butanol. The kinetic model, which includes the adsorption of carboxylic acid and water combined with the activities of the species, explained the experimentally recorded concentrations well.
- polymer-supported sulphonic acid catalyst