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Partnership scales up the first ethylene-based metathesis process

By Scott Jenkins |

A multi-company partnership has achieved the largest-ever use of molybdenum/tungsten (Schrock-type) catalysts for a metathesis process involving ethylene and renewable oils. The reaction run, which produced primarily 1-decene and 9-decenoic acid methyl ester from ethylene and plant oils, represented a scale-up by a factor of 40,000 over the laboratory demonstration. The products can be used for making a variety of bio-based specialty chemicals in several industries. Olefin metathesis is a powerful synthetic technique that involves the exchange of alkene substituents through the breaking and reforming of carbon-carbon double bonds over specialized metal catalysts. In this case, a group of companies, including Elevance Renewable Sciences, Inc. (Woodridge, Ill.; www.elevance.com), XiMo AG (Lucerne, Switzerland; www.ximo-inc.com), Versalis (Rome, Italy; www.versalis.eni.com) and Soneas (Budapest, Hungary; www.soneas.com), was able to react ethylene with natural plant oils in a “second-generation” metathesis reaction that depends on Mo- and W-based catalyst systems designed and synthesized by XiMo using intellectual property from research by Amir Hoveyda at Boston College and Richard Schrock at MIT. “These catalyst systems do not…
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