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Continuous Gas-Phase Hydroformylation of a Highly Diluted Technical C4 Feed using Supported Ionic Liquid Phase Catalysts

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Abstract

The concept of supported ionic liquid phase (SILP) catalysis has been established in recent years by our group and others. Its application in continuous catalytic gas-phase processes provides a very attractive way to bridge the gap between homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis. In this contribution, we extend SILP hydroformylation catalysis to reactions with a highly diluted, technical C4 feed containing 1.5 % 1-butene, 28.5 % 2-butenes, and 70 % of inert n-butane. To obtain the desired product, n-pentanal, the Rh-biphephos catalyst system was immobilized in the SILP system to allow for consecutive isomerization/hydroformylation activity. The resulting SILP catalyst material converted up to 81 % of the reactive butenes, with a residence time of 155 s in the reactor. An n-pentanal selectivity greater than 92 % was realized for more than 500 h time-on-stream in the continuous gas-phase reaction. Post-reaction NMR studies revealed no significant loss of the phosphite ligand through ligand oxidation during the reaction.

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