Catalytic Hydrolysis of Ethyl Acetate
consists of a jacketed glass reactor packed with Rohm and Haas
Amberlyst ion exchange resin, which serves as an acid catalyst. A
20 liter polyethylene tank supplies an aqueous solution of ethyl
acetate to a magnetic drive centrifugal pump, which feeds the
acetate solution through a rotameter to a stainless heat exchanger
and then to the reactor. A needle valve is used to set the flow
rate, and reactor effluent samples are collected, timed, and
titrated to a phenolphthalein end point using sodium hydroxide. A
second centrifugal pump circulates hot water to the heat exchanger
and the reactor jacket from a resistance heated vessel. The water
temperature is controlled by a commercial temperature
The students set a volumetric feed rate and an operating temperature, allow a steady state to develop, and then analyze the reactor effluent to determine the conversion. From data taken at typically three feed rates and three temperatures, the students can calculate the activation energy and rate constant for the hydrolysis reaction.
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