Kinetics of Hydrolysis of Acetic Anhydride by In-Situ FTIR Spectroscopy: An Experiment for the Undergraduate Laboratory


  • Shaker Haji University of Connecticut
  • Can Erkey University of Connecticut


A reaction kinetics experiment for the chemical engineering undergraduate laboratory course was developed in which in-situ Fourier Transfer Infrared spectroscopy was used to measure reactant and product concentrations. The kinetics of the hydrolysis of acetic anhydride was determined by experiments carried out in a batch reactor. The results compared very favorably with reported pseudo-first-order kinetics for this irreversible reaction. The resulting rate expression was used to predict the performance of a semibatch reactor.

Author Biographies

Shaker Haji, University of Connecticut

Shaker Haji received his BSc in chemical engineering from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) in 1999. He is currently a full-time PhD student in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Connecticut. His research focuses on removal of organosulfur compounds from diesel for fuelcell applications.

Can Erkey, University of Connecticut

Can Erkey received his BS degree from Bogazici University (Turkey), his MS from University of Bradford (England), and his PhD from Texas A&M University. He is currently an associate professor in the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Connecticut and teaches chemical reaction engineering and catalysis courses, both at the graduate and undergraduate levels. His main research interests are in catalysis and nanostructured materials.