3 years ago

Development of a Continuous System Based on Azeotropic Reactive Distillation to Enhance Triacetin Selectivity in Glycerol Esterification with Acetic Acid

Development of a Continuous System Based on Azeotropic Reactive Distillation to Enhance Triacetin Selectivity in Glycerol Esterification with Acetic Acid
Hajar Rastegari, Mohammad Yalpani, Amin Shafiei, Hassan S. Ghaziaskar
Glycerol esterification with acetic acid was carried out in a continuous, easy-to-scale-up system using toluene as the entrainer. A water separation system was designed and coupled to an optimized continuous system. The continuous system operated at a temperature of 100 °C, an acetic acid-to-glycerol mole ratio of 7, a pressure of 1 bar, and a feed flow rate of 0.5 mL min–1 over 3 g of Amberlyst 36. Under these conditions, the glycerol conversion was 100% with 43%, 44%, and 13% selectivities to monoacetin, diacetin, and triacetin, respectively. Formation of byproducts was not observed under these conditions. When this continuous system was coupled to the designed simultaneous reactor and water separation system, containing 3 g of Amberlyst 36, these values changed to 0%, 15%, and 80%, respectively. Byproduct formation was observed with a selectivity of only 5% after the feed was passed from the water separation system. Continuous removal of the water formed in the reaction was done with toluene. As a result of this process, the chemical equilibrium shifted toward the TA production. The maximum selectivities obtained from experiments were 85% for MA, and 65% for DA. Amberlyst 15 and Purolite PD206 also was used for esterification reaction. Amberlyst 15 and Amberlyst 36 exhibited similar performances. A mixture of MA and DA was obtained through esterification of glycerol with trapped acetic acid in a Dean–Stark apparatus.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.energyfuels.7b01068

DOI: 10.1021/acs.energyfuels.7b01068

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