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Keywords:

  • Fatty acids;
  • Isomerization;
  • Linoleic acid;
  • Renewable resources

Conjugated methyl linoleates (CML) can be produced by homogeneous transition metal catalysis under mild reaction conditions, low catalyst concentrations and short reaction times in nearly quantitative yield from methyl linoleate (ML), an easily accessible intermediate product of the oleochemical industry. The best catalyst proved to be the Wilkinson-catalyst RhCl(PPh3)3 (1 mol%) activated by the co-catalyst tin(II)chloride-dihydrate (2.5 mol%) in the solvent methanol. A yield of 93% of conjugated methyl linoleates can be obtained under mild reaction conditions at 60°C and low reaction times of 3 h.

See commentary by Philippaerts et al. [p. 717–720], http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ejlt.201300101