Vertical integration of an esterification reaction in the chemical engineering curriculum

Kevin Dahm, Daniel Fichana, Peter Otton, Karl Spiewak

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The Rowan University Department of Chemical Engineering has received an NSF-CCLI grant to develop realistic chemical reaction engineering experiments for the undergraduate curriculum. This paper discusses one such experiment, the reaction between ethanol and acetic acid to form ethyl acetater. Students examine this system in their organic chemistry class, and it provides an illustration of the esterification reaction mechanism. The experiment currently under development re-examines this esterification reaction from a chemical engineering perspective. For example, the reaction is reversible and equilibrium-limited, but in the organic chemistry lab, there is no examination of the kinetics. The complementary chemical engineering experiment currently under development examines the relationship between residence time and conversion. The reaction will be carried out in a fixed-bed reactor with Purolite resin 269 acting as a catalyst. An outer shell is used to supply hot water to control the temperature of the bed. The experimental apparatus and procedure are nearing completion and testing of the system and collection of data will begin in the spring of 2004. This paper compares the chemical engineering and organic laboratory versions of the experiments and explains the role of the proposed experiment in the course. The experiment is scheduled to be integrated into the Chemical Reaction Engineering course for the first time in the spring of 2005.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15261-15265
Number of pages5
JournalASEE Annual Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2004
EventASEE 2004 Annual Conference and Exposition, "Engineering Researchs New Heights" - Salt Lake City, UT, United States
Duration: Jun 20 2004Jun 23 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Vertical integration of an esterification reaction in the chemical engineering curriculum'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this