The esterification kinetics of lactic acid with methanol without addition of catalyst and catalyzed by ion-exchange resins are presented in this work. The effect of catalyst type, stirrer speed, catalyst size, catalyst loading, initial reactant ratio, and temperature on reaction kinetics was evaluated. Experimental reaction rates were correlated by some models based on homogeneous and heterogeneous (dual-and single-site mechanisms) approaches. Nonideality of the liquid phase was taken into account by using activities instead of mole fractions. Prediction of the activity coefficients was made by UNIFAC. Parameters of the different models were obtained by the simplex search method.
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