A method of and apparatus for continuously making an organic ester from a lower alcohol and an organic acid is disclosed. An organic acid or salt is introduced or produced in an electrode ionization (EDI) stack with a plurality of reaction chambers each formed from a porous solid ion exchange resin wafer interleaved between anion exchange membranes or an anion exchange membrane and a cation exchange membrane or an anion exchange membrane and a bipolar exchange membranes. At least some reaction chambers are esterification chambers and/or bioreactor chambers and/or chambers containing an organic acid or salt. A lower alcohol in the esterification chamber reacts with an anion to form an organic ester and water with at least some of the water splitting with the ions leaving the chamber to drive the reaction.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-31-109-ENG-38 between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and The University of Chicago representing Argonne National Laboratory.