pervaporation-assisted esterification of oleic acid and ethanol was investigated by means of heterogeneous acid catalysis with the aim of increasing the ethyl oleate yield. the experimental strategy comprised kinetic tests with amberlyst 15 wet (rohm & haas), the characterization of hydrophilic pervap 1000 membrane (sulzer) and the evaluation of the membrane-assisted reactor. kinetic tests were carried out to study the effect of temperature, catalyst loading and ethanol/organic acid molar ratio for the esterification of oleic acid and ethanol. the ester yield and initial reaction rate were used as response. the hydrophilic poly(vinyl alcohol) membrane was able to remove water from the reaction medium and, hence, the ester yield was increased. the potential of coupling esterification and pervaporation was demonstrated, with a two-fold increase in the reaction yield of ethyl oleate.