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Ethenolysis of Methyl Oleate in Room-Temperature Ionic Liquids

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Abstract

Unsaturated vegetable oils are an attractive renewable feedstock, and the selective cleavage of unsaturated fatty esters is an important transformation in this respect. The efficient and selective cross-metathesis of methyl oleate with ethylene was achieved under mild conditions with ruthenium-alkylidene catalysts in toluene and room-temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) to give two important chemical intermediates, 1-decene and methyl 9-decenoate, without double-bond migration. As recovery of the catalyst is an important target with respect to industrial applications, catalyst recycling studies were also carried out in RTILs with the first-generation Hoveyda catalyst.

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