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International Journal of Chemical Engineering
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 803783, 5 pages
Research Article

Continuous Catalyst-Free Esterification of Oleic Acid in Compressed Ethanol

1Program of Post-Graduation in Bioenergy, West Paraná State University, Faculdade Street 645, Jardim La Salle, 85903-000 Toledo, PR, Brazil
2Department of Food Engineering, College of Animal Science and Food Engineering, University of São Paulo, R. Duque de Caxias Norte 225, 13635-900 Pirassununga, SP, Brazil
3Department of Technology, Maringá State University, Avenue Dr. Ângelo Moreira da Fonseca 1800, 87506-370 Umuarama, PR, Brazil
4Department of Chemical Engineering, Maringa State University, Avenue Colombo 5790, 87020-900 Maringa, PR, Brazil

Received 5 October 2013; Revised 30 October 2013; Accepted 6 November 2013; Published 19 January 2014

Academic Editor: Dmitry Murzin

Copyright © 2014 Ana Carolina de Araujo Abdala et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The esterification of oleic acid in a continuous catalyst-free process using compressed ethanol was investigated in the present study. Experiments were performed in a tubular reactor and variables investigated were temperature, pressure, and oleic acid to ethanol molar ratio for different residence time. Results demonstrated that temperature, in the range of 473 K to 573 K, and pressure had a positive effect on fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEE) production. In the experimental range investigated, high conversions can be obtained at low ethanol concentrations in the reaction medium and it was observed that oleic acid to ethanol molar ratios greater than 1 : 6 show no significant increase in conversion. Nonnegligible reaction conversions (>90%) were achieved at 573 K, 20 MPa, oleic acid to ethanol molar ratio of 1 : 6, and 20 minutes of residence time.