Heterogeneous catalytic esterification of oleic acid under sub/supercritical methanol over γ-Al2O3

Jie Zhang, Jiuxu Liu, Xinlei Huang, Seungrag Choi, Ran Zhu, Siqi Tang, Jesse Q. Bond, Lawrence L. Tavlarides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


A continuous pack-bed reactor experimental system was employed to investigate the heterogeneous catalytic esterification of oleic acid and sub/supercritical methanol with γ-Al2O3 as the catalyst. The experiment conditions were pressure of 10–20 MPa, temperature of 175–325 °C, residence time of 0.2–7 min and methanol/oil molar ratio of 20:1. A global one-step second order reversible kinetic model and a three-step Eley-Rideal mechanism model were proposed. The influence of impurity water and reaction pressure on the supercritical heterogeneous catalytic reaction were examined, and the stability of γ-Al2O3 under supercritical conditions was also evaluated. It was found that γ-Al2O3 showed excellent catalytic performance in both subcritical and supercritical processes, promoting theoretical maximum biodiesel yield at 20 MPa, 275 °C in 1 min. The impurity water hindered the conversion of biodiesel due to its negative influence on both the esterification reaction and the catalyst. Finally, the stability of γ-Al2O3 was tested under supercritical condition for 30 h.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number117359
StatePublished - May 15 2020


  • Esterification
  • Heterogeneous catalysis
  • Oleic acid
  • γ-AlO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry


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