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Valeronitrile Hydrolysis in Supercritical Water

Authors

  • Michael Sarlea,

    1. Ernst-Berl-Institut für Technische und Makromolekulare Chemie, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Petersenstrasse 20, 64287 Darmstadt (Germany), Fax: (+49) 6151-163465
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  • Sabine Kohl,

    1. Ernst-Berl-Institut für Technische und Makromolekulare Chemie, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Petersenstrasse 20, 64287 Darmstadt (Germany), Fax: (+49) 6151-163465
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  • Nina Blickhan,

    1. Ernst-Berl-Institut für Technische und Makromolekulare Chemie, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Petersenstrasse 20, 64287 Darmstadt (Germany), Fax: (+49) 6151-163465
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  • Herbert Vogel Prof.

    1. Ernst-Berl-Institut für Technische und Makromolekulare Chemie, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Petersenstrasse 20, 64287 Darmstadt (Germany), Fax: (+49) 6151-163465
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Abstract

Nitriles act as important intermediates for the chemical industry and are accessible on a large scale through hydrocyanation or ammonoxidation. Nitrile hydrolysis yields amides and acids used in various applications. The conventional nitrile hydrolysis process relies on stoichiometric amounts of mineral acid or base which inherently deliver great amounts of waste brine. Improving this process towards green chemistry would require reaction conditions which can provide technically significant results without the use of catalysts. Under these conditions, the hydrolysis of valeronitrile in pure supercritical water was investigated. The experiments were performed in a continuous high pressure laboratory-scale apparatus at a temperature between 400 and 500 °C, 30 MPa pressure and maximal residence time of 100 s. Nitrile conversion and valeric acid selectivity greater than 90 % were achieved.

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