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Abstract

A semi-empirical kinetic model that fits laboratory data and predicts pilot plant data was developed. The model is a modified version of a recently reported third-order kinetic equation for the reaction of nonstoichiometric amounts of hydroxyl and carboxylic groups. The model can be used to quantify the effects of reaction temperature and inert gas flow rate on the reaction rate. The Arrhenius temperature dependence of the rate constant permitted the calculation of the reaction activation energy (53.6 kJ/mol). The gas flow rate dependence is an empirical function of the molar ratio of reactants to inert gas. The same function is simultaneously used as the process scale-up rule. The mathematical model can be potentially used for commercial-sized reactors.