iiiKnowledge of the reaction mechanism for heterogeneous esterification at highreaction temperatures was elucidated by using SAC-13 as a catalyst. The resultssuggested that the reaction proceeded via a single site mechanism and followed the samereaction pathway as homogeneous catalysis in which the adsorbed acetic acid appeared toreact with the alcohol from the gas phase. As the reaction temperatures increased, achange in the reaction controlling step for esterification from surface reaction (at lowtemperature) to carboxylic acid adsorption (at high temperature) satisfactorily explainedthe experimental observations. As a result, the reaction orders for the alcohols werechanged toward negative values, suggesting that use of a large excess of alcohol (astypically used at lower temperatures) could result in a significant lower reaction rate.The negative impact of alcohols on the catalyst activity at high reactiontemperatures was further remarked in a parallel study on the solid acid catalyzed liquid- phase transesterification of triglyceride. Operating under N
atmosphere and temperatureof 120 °C, a solid acid catalyst containing sulfur, i.e. sulfated zirconia, was deactivated by a permanent removal of its active sites in the presence of liquid alcohols. All of theseresults would lead to a better design for the reaction system dealing with the methanolysisof waste greases. Finally, the feasibility of a continuous multiphase reaction system wassuccessfully demonstrated by using a simulative mixture of waste greases (lauric acid intricaprylin). By conducting the reaction at high temperatures (>100 °C) and atmospheric pressure, a residue alcohol and byproduct water were continuously removed, resulting inthe completion in esterification reaction and a better physical-chemical characteristics of ester products.