Kinetic Analysis as an Optimization Tool for Catalytic Esterification with a Moisture-Tolerant Zirconium Complex

This work describes the use of kinetics as a tool for rational optimization of an esterification process with down to equimolar ratios of reagents using a recyclable commercially available zirconocene complex in catalytic amounts. In contrast to previously reported group IV metal-catalyzed esterification protocols, the work presented herein circumvents the use of water scavengers and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) ligands. Insights into the operating mechanism are presented.