Author(s): Yang HM, Peng GY
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Abstract The esterification of sodium salicylate to synthesize butyl salicylate by third-liquid phase-transfer catalysis under ultrasound irradiation was investigated in a continuous two-phase-flow reactor. The reactor was designed to keep the third-liquid phase in the middle part and to have the aqueous and organic phases flowing through it in countercurrent. Using tetra-n-butylphosphonium bromide to prepare the third-liquid phase for this esterification, the product yield in the organic outlet (toluene) at 70 degrees C was 49.7\% in silent condition, showing the reaction promoted simply by countercurrent mixing of the aqueous and organic phases. In the conditions of space time at 168 min, stirring at 150 rpm and ultrasound irradiation (28 kHz, 300 W), the product yield was greatly enhanced to 78.2\%. As prepared, above 90\% of the added catalyst existed in the third-liquid phase, and after 4-h on stream for a large excess of n-butyl bromide to sodium salicylate, the fraction of catalyst retaining in the reactor was reduced to around 80\%. The distributions of catalysts between phases before and after reaction were analyzed. A kinetic model was proposed to estimate the apparent rate constants, and the feasibility for third-liquid phase-transfer catalysis assisted by ultrasound irradiation in a continuous flow reactor was demonstrated.
This article was published in Ultrason Sonochem
and referenced in Chemical Sciences Journal