Chemical Industry and Chemical Engineering Quarterly (2018-01-01)

Esterification of stearic acid with lower monohydroxylic alcohols

  • Kastratović Vlatko,
  • Bigović Miljan

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 24, no. 3
pp. 283 – 291


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Esters play a significant role in everyday life but also in the chemical industry. The aim of this study is to investigate the influence of different parameters on the process of esterification of higher monocarboxylic acids with lower monohydroxylic alcohols. We examined the influences of the following variables: the type and amount of the catalyst, the structure of alcohols and fatty acids, the acid/alcohol molar ratio, and the temperature of the esterification process. The descending order of reactivity found alcohols is: 1-butanol > 1-propanol > 2-methyl-1-propanol > ethanol > 2-butanol >2-propanol > 2-methyl-2-propanol. The results of this study show no significant effect of chain lengths of saturated fatty acids on the speed and yield of esterification. The presence of the double bond in unsaturated fatty acids reduces the acid to ester conversion. The highest yield (99%) was obtained in the reaction of stearic acid and 1-butanol with an acid/alcohol/catalyst (H2SO4) mole ratio 1/15/0.75 and at a temperature of 65°C.