Esterification of Acetic Acid by Flow-Type Membrane Reactor with AEI Zeolite Membrane

Yuma Sekine, Motomu Sakai*, Masahiko Matsukata

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AEI-type zeolite membrane for dehydration was prepared, and a flow-type membrane reactor for the esterification of acetic acid and ethanol by AEI membrane was developed. A synthesized AEI membrane had suitable molecular sieving property for gas separation (H2/i-butane and CO2/CH4) and pervaporation (H2O/acetic acid). AEI membrane showed H2O permeance of 6.2 × 10−7 mol m−2 s−1 Pa−1 with a separation factor of 67 at 363 K for the equimolar mixture of H2O/acetic acid. AEI membrane maintained stable performance under acidic conditions. The yield of ethyl acetate at 363 K in a flow-type membrane reactor with AEI membrane successfully exceeded the equilibrium of 69.1%, reaching 89.0%. The flow rate of feed solution strongly affected the conversion of acetic acid and the space–time yield (STY) of ethyl acetate. Due to the more significant proportion of water selectively removed from the reaction system at a lower feed flow rate, the thermodynamic equilibrium shifted significantly, resulting in higher conversions. In contrast, STY increased with increasing feed flow rate. Our flow-type membrane reactor exhibited a relatively large STY of 430 kg m−3 h−1 compared with the batch-type membrane reactor previously reported.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jan


  • AEI
  • acetic acid
  • esterification
  • ethyl acetate
  • flow reactor
  • membrane reactor
  • plug flow
  • zeolite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Filtration and Separation


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