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Tutorial MenueThe World of the Platinum MetalsLearning Unit 3 of 5

Precious Metal Catalysts for Homogeneous Catalysis


Homogeneous catalysis is also of decisive significance in the large-scale synthesis of 1-octene. 1-octene is employed as a co-monomer in the synthesis of polyethylene to improve the quality of the polyethylene; in this way, linear polyethylene is produced with a low density. In the 1990s a new process for the manufacture of 1-octene was developed by Dow Chemical. The process known as telomerization is the dimerization of 1,3-butadiene with methanol to methoxyoctadiene which is transformed into 1-octene in a series of subsequent reactions. A significant proportion of the annual world production of 1-octene is now manufactured by Dow Chemical in Spain using this new technology. This process counts as one of the most significant homogeneous precious metal catalysis processes currently used worldwide. A palladium triphenylphosphane complex is used as catalyst.

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