Esterification overview


Esters of organic acids are widely used in the chemical and petrochemical industry. Some of them such as acrylate esters are building blocks in surface coatings (>40%), adhesives/sealants (20%), textiles (15%), paper (5%) and plastics (10%). Others like acetate esters are marketed as solvents in printing inks, coatings or in some chemical processes.


Esters of fatty acids can be seen as the fastest growing market. They are used as a renewable feedstock in the diesel pool. Generally the major ester is described as FAME (fatty acid methyl ester) or biodiesel. The fatty acids can originate from plants, such as coconut, rape seed, sun flower, palm, soy bean, Jatropha, some woods or from animal fats.


Typically these esters are directly formed through direct esterification of the organic acid with the corresponding alcohol under acidic conditions. Transesterification is used in minor cases in oleochemicals, but in general in the production process of biodiesel. Acids can be homogeneous like sulphuric acid or polymer based like sulphonated TREVER®|LYST catalysts.


CHEMRA has developed a variety of strongly acidic polymeric catalysts for the different esters produced in the market place. In case the formation of the dimer of the alcohol shall be suppressed. CHEMRA is offering special catalysts with a unique pore phase.


For more information please contact your local CHEMRA representatives.



Related page: Typical properties of TREVER®|LYST polymeric catalysts.