Synthesis, Characterisation and Catalytic Performance of Porous Nafion Resin/ Silica Nanocomposites for Esterification of Lauric Acid and Methanol


Solid acid catalyst nanocomposites made from Nafion resin supported on silica were prepared using an in situ sol-gel technique. Nafion resin/silica nanocomposites combined the solid acid catalyst properties of Nafion resin with the high surface area characteristic of silica as a porous support. Nitrogen gas adsorptiondesorption showed that the surface area of Nafion resin supported on silica increased by about 10,000 times compared to the surface area of pure Nafion resin (0.02 m2/g). The use of Nafion resin/silica nanocomposites as catalysts for the esterification of lauric acid and methanol increased the methyl laurate yield by three fold compared to pure Nafion resin.


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