Esterification of cetyl alcohol with palmitic acid over WO3/Zr-SBA-15 and Zr-SBA-15 catalysts
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Tungsten loaded and Zr incorporated SBA-15 catalysts (WO3/Zr-SBA-15 and Zr-SBA-15) were developed for esterification of cetyl alcohol and palmitic acid. The influence of the Zr content, tungsten loading amount, calcination temperature, feed composition and catalyst amount has been studied. Higher tungsten loading decreased the acidity due to formation of WO3 crystals whereas calcination temperature enhanced the acidity by favoring the dispersion of WOx species. Activities of the catalyst changed depending on their amount of Brønsted sites and total number of acid sites. Zr-SBA-15 catalyst which had the highest amount of Brønsted acid sites gave maximum cetyl palmitate yield (63.1%). This catalyst retained its activity up to 3 reuse cycles without significant loss of activity.