Thermodynamic equilibrium and reaction kinetics for the esterification of lactic acid with ethanol catalyzed by acid ion-exchange resin uri icon


  • The heterogeneous catalysis of lactic acid (88 wt %) esterification with ethanol in the presence of Amberlyst 15-wet was studied for catalyst loading of 1.2-3.9 wt %, initial molar ratio of reactants of 1.1-2.8, and temperature from 50 to 90 °C. In this work a methodology based on the UNIQUAC model was developed to determine the thermodynamic equilibrium constant since in the literature there is inconsistency concerning the temperature dependence of the thermodynamic equilibrium constant. A simplified Langmuir-Hinshelwood kinetic model was used to predict the experimental data. The proposed rate law is r ) kc(aEthaLa - aELaW/ K)/(1 + KEthaEth + KWaW)2; the kinetic parameters are the preexponential factor, kc,0 ) 2.70 107 molâg-1âmin-1, and the activation energy, Ea ) 49.98 kJ/mol. The equilibrium reaction constant is K ) 19.35 exp(-515.13/T (K)) with reaction enthalpy 4.28 kJ/mol. The model reasonably predicts the kinetic experimental data, and it will be very useful to apply to the design and optimization of industrial hybrid reactive separation processes.

publication date

  • January 1, 2008