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Metathesis Catalysts for Oleochemical Applications New Metathesis Catalysts with High Temperature Stability and Selectivity

| Editor: Marion Henig

Metathesis plays a key role in oleochemistry to make renewable resources usable for the chemical industry. The metathesis catalysts used for this purpose must be robust and highly active to convert the raw material qualities, which are subject to frequent fluctuations and occasional contamination. New catalysts can solve this difficult task.

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Metathesis catalysts must be robust and highly active to convert the raw material qualities, which are subject to frequent fluctuations and occasional contamination. (Picture: Evonik Industries)
Metathesis catalysts must be robust and highly active to convert the raw material qualities, which are subject to frequent fluctuations and occasional contamination. (Picture: Evonik Industries)

Today, metathesis is a highly significant method of the chemical industry, for instance in the development and production of modern plastics or of active pharmaceutical ingedients. The metathesis of olefins plays a particularly important role in oleochemistry, since this technology allows for direct access to renewable resources and for their efficient use without creating any by-products. For example, metathesis turns triglycerides and unsaturated fatty acid derivatives (from palm, soy, canola or sunflower oil) into fine chemicals, functionalized monomers, polymers, biodegradable lubricants and specialty chemicals such as cosmetics.

Cross metathesis of unsaturated fatty acids and acid esters with functionalized olefins, allow for accessing a diversity of double-functionalized olefins. These represent interesting raw materials for creating macrocyclical compounds, polyesters, polyamides, lubricants or surfactants for example. On the other hand, the non-functional olefins that are generated in the same process can be further converted to α-olefins, oil field chemicals, lubricant additives and waxes.

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