Determination of the Mass Transfer Parameters and Partition Coefficients for Formic Acid/Water/Soybean Oil System

Gustavo V Olivieri, Tommaso Cogliano, Ricardo Belchior Torres, Rosa Turco, Tapio Salmi, Riccardo Tesser, Vincenzo Russo, Martino Di Serio, Reinaldo Giudici

Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 2023, 62, 35, 13825–13836

The formic acid partition coefficients in soybean oil/water biphasic system were determined experimentally in a Lewis cell apparatus and modeled mathematically. The effect of different operation conditions on the mass transfer parameters was investigated, i.e., temperature, water-to-soybean oil weight ratio, and formic acid-to-soybean + water weight ratio. The experimental results revealed that the temperature and water-to-soybean oil ratio bring the most relevant influence on the partition coefficient. The results were interpreted with an empirical mathematical model and two thermodynamic models, UNIQUAC (Universal Quasichemical) and NRTL (Non-Random Two Liquid). This investigation has relevance for the epoxidation of vegetable oils via the Prilezhaev concept. The approach can also be extended to other carboxylic acids, too.