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Etherification of glycerol with tert-butyl alcohol catalysed by ion-exchange resins

K. Klepáčová, D. Mravec, and M. Bajus

Department of Organic Technology, Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology, Slovak University of Technology, SK-812 37 Bratislava, Slovakia



Received: 30 August 2005  Revised: 21 December 2005  Accepted: 16 January 2006

Abstract: The reaction of glycerol with tert-butyl alcohol in the liquid phase on acid Amberlyst-type ion-exchange resins was studied. The influence of temperature, mole ratio n(TBA)/n(G), water and swelling of gel, and macroreticular type of polymer catalysts on etherification reaction was investigated. The most favourable reaction temperature is 75°C. The conversion of glycerol and yield of glycerol tert-butyl ethers has increased with the mole ratio n(TBA)/n(G). Dry form of macroreticular catalysts provided the best results. Etherification reaction of glycerol with isobutylene in non-aqueous conditions gives the highest yield of desired ethers. The influence of water was studied. The gel forms of ion-exchange resins have very low catalytic activity. It can be concluded that water has an inhibition effect on ion-exchange resins. By comparing the gel and macroreticular forms of Amberlyst ion-exchange resins it can be concluded that very acid forms of macroreticular ion-exchange resins with a high degree of crosslinking are more active catalysts for the studied reaction due to their pores which are sufficiently large so that the voluminous tert-butyl ethers of glycerol can be formed. It was estimated that tert-butyl alcohol as tert-butylation agent is not suitable for etherification of glycerol with the formation of di-and triethers.

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.2478/s11696-006-0040-x


Chemical Papers 60 (3) 224–230 (2006)

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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