Synthesis of Glycerol Monostearate Over K2CO3/g-Al2O3 Catalyst

Lu Zhou, Yi Gu, Mei Hong and Guomin Xiao*

School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 211189, P.R. China

*Corresponding author: Tel: +86 25 52090612; E-mail:


The synthesis of glycerol monostearate by transesterification of methyl stearate with glycerol can be carried out in the presence of basic catalyst. The absence of solvent in the reaction system would result in a low conversion of methyl stearate as a consequence of low miscibility between reactants. The addition N,N'-dimethyl formamide as solvent improved the activity of the catalyst and selectivity to glycerol monostearate. Different K2CO3-containing g-Al2O3 catalysts were made and used in the reaction. The results showed that catalyst with higher basicity could lead to better reactant's conversion but poorer selectivity to glycerol monostearate and the optimal load of K2CO3 inducing the highest yield to glycerol monostearate was 20 % mass fraction of g-Al2O3 supporter. At a glycerol/methyl stearate ratio of 6:1, 165 °C, 2 wt. % catalyst amount, a yield of 82.21 % of glycerol monostearate was achieved after 5h.


Glycerol monostearate, Methyl stearate, Glycerol, K2CO3/g-Al2O3 catalyst, Solvent.

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