In-Water and Neat Batch and Continuous-Flow Direct Esterification and Transesterification by a Porous Polymeric Acid Catalyst

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Baek, Heeyoel ; Minakawa, Maki ; Yamada, Yoichi M. A. ; Han, Jin Wook ; Uozumi, Yasuhiro (2016)

A porous phenolsulphonic acid—formaldehyde resin (PAFR) was developed. The heterogeneous catalyst PAFR was applied to the esterification of carboxylic acids and alcohols, affording the carboxylic acid esters in a yield of up to 95% where water was not removed from the reaction mixture. Surprisingly, the esterification in water as a solvent proceeded to afford the desired esters in high yield. PAFR provided the corresponding esters in higher yield than other homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts. The transesterification of alcohols and esters was also investigated by using PAFR, giving the corresponding esters. PAFR was applied to the batch-wise and continuous-flow production of biodiesel fuel FAME. The PAFR-packed flow reactor that was developed for the synthesis of carboxylic acids and FAME worked for four days without loss of its catalytic activity.
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