Fast and very slow reactions: phase transfer catalysis

Lele, S. S. ; Bhave, R. R. ; Sharma, M. M. (1983) Fast and very slow reactions: phase transfer catalysis Chemical Engineering Science, 38 (5). pp. 765-773. ISSN 0009-2509

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The effect of phase transfer catalysts (PTC), such as tricaprylmethyl ammonium chloride (Aliquat-336), cetyl trimethyl ammonium bromide, etc. on the rate of alkaline hydrolysis of different formate and acetate esters was studied. In the case of formate esters extraction is accompanied by fast pseudo-first order reaction in diffusion film; for acetate esters the reaction is insufficiently fast to occur in the diffusion film. The values of the volumetric rate of extraction, RAa, and the specific rate of extraction, RA, with or without PTC, were measured in a fully baffled mechanically agitated contactor and a constant interfacial area stirred cell, respectively. The alkaline hydrolysis reaction was carried out with aqueous solutions of sodium hydroxide or aqueous lime slurry and the effect of speed of agitation and PTC concentration on the rate of hydrolysis was studied. A remarkable increase in the value of RA was realized in the presence of PTC and the enhancement factor for the formate ester hydrolysis reaction ranged from 20 to over 200.

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