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Acetaldehyde from Ethylene—A Retrospective on the Discovery of the Wacker Process


  • In the Minireview following this article J. A. Keith and P. M. Henry give a modern overview of the reaction mechanism of the Wacker oxidation.7


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The Wacker oxidation for the conversion of ethylene into acetaldehyde is one of the most important processes in the chemical industry. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first publication on this process in Angewandte Chemie—an occasion for a retrospective from one of the original authors, Reinhard Jira.