A heterogeneous catalyst (ZnO/SFCCR) composed of ZnO supported on spent fluid cracking catalyst by wet impregnation was synthesized and applied to the esterification of colophony acids with methanol under subcritical CO 2 conditions. The catalyst was characterized by SEM-EDS, BET, ICP, FTIR, XRD and Py-IR. An experimental set-up involving a new injection technique was designed to promote the heterogeneous methyl esterification, and the subcritical CO 2 played a role in auxiliary acid catalysis (a pH range of 3.54–3.91), increasing the lifespan of ZnO/SFCCR, reducing the viscosity of the system to promote gas–liquid mass transfer. A maximum conversion rate of 97.01% was obtained in a relatively short time of 5 h. Kinetic experiments were performed from 190 to 220°C using a special high-temperature sampling device and analysing aliquots with high-performance liquid chromatography. A new reaction pathway, involving methyl abietate, methyl dehydroabietate, methyl neoabietate and methyl palustrate along with other kinds of colophony acids, was developed. The kinetic parameters were obtained using the Levenberg–Marquardt nonlinear least-squares method, and the activation energies for the isomerizations of neoabietic and palustric acids and for the methyl esterification of neoabietic, abietic, palustric and dehydroabietic acids were found to be 107.09, 113.95, 68.99, 49.85, 75.43 and 59.20 kJ mol –1 , respectively. The results from the kinetic model were in good agreement with experimental values.
synthetic chemistry, chemical engineering
Natural Sciences in General