Tomone Sasayama;Ayumu Kanezawa;Kousuke Hiromori;Atsushi Takahashi;Naomi Shibasaki-Kitakawa
A strongly basic ion-exchange resin catalyst was reported to exhibit a high catalytic activity in transesterification to produce a bio-based surfactant, sugar ester under mild condition. However, the side-reactions to decompose the reactant and the product were found to occur. This study was aimed to improve the selectivity of sugar ester synthesis by newly focusing on the basicity of the resin. A weakly basic resin (Diaion WA20) with a lower mass transfer resistance suppressed the decompositions while maintaining synthesis rate. Controlling molar ratio of the reactants in the intraparticle reaction field also increased the reaction selectivity, 72.1% and product yield, 57.5%. Both values were drastically increased compared to the reported values with the strongly basic resin (selectivity 50.9%, yield 14.3%). This is the first knowledge to show a high catalytic activity of weakly basic resin. These results suggest that a more efficient continuous production process would be possible.