Solvent effects on esterification equilibria

Ole Riechert, Maik Husham, Gabriele Sadowski*, Tim Zeiner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Solvents are known to have strong impacts on the yields of equilibrium reactions. This work focuses on the thermodynamic investigation of these solvent effects on esterification reactions of acetic acid and propionic acid with ethanol. Esterification of acetic acid was performed in the solvents acetone, acetonitrile (ACN), dimethylformamide (DMF), and tetrahydrofurane as well as in mixtures thereof. ACN promotes the esterification of acetic acid, whereas it is strongly suppressed by DMF. The esterification of propionic acid was investigated with various reactant concentrations in acetone. The experimental equilibrium data in pure solvents and solvent mixtures were modeled using the thermodynamic equilibrium constant Ka and the reactant/product activity coefficients predicted by the perturbed chain-statistical associating fluid theory (PC-SAFT). For a given Ka, PC-SAFT is able to predict the influence of the solvent and even solvent mixtures on the equilibrium concentrations of esterification in almost quantitative agreement with the experimental data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3000-3011
Number of pages12
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015


  • Esterification
  • Perturbed chain-statistical associating fluid theory
  • Reaction equilibrium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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