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Palladium-catalyzed hydroxycarbonylation of 1-dodecene in microemulsion systems: does reaction performance care about phase behavior?

Schmidt, Marcel; Urban, Carolina; Schmidt, Svenja; Schomäcker, Reinhard

Catalysis, particularly metal-catalyzed reactions in microemulsion systems, offers a sustainable approach for organic reactions in water. However, it is still a challenging task because of the complex role of the nonionic surfactant in such a system and the interaction of the phase behavior and reaction performance. To get a profound knowledge of this role and interaction, a systematic study of the palladium-catalyzed hydroxycarbonylation of 1-dodecene in a microemulsion system is reported. The influence of the temperature, additives such as cosolvents, the catalyst concentration, and the hydrophilicity of the surfactant and its concentration has been investigated with regard to both the phase behavior and reaction performance. Interestingly, the investigations reveal that not the phase behavior of the microemulsion system but mainly the dimension of the oil–water interface and the local concentrations of the substrates at this interface, which is provided by the amount and hydrophilicity of the surfactant, control the reaction performance of hydroxycarbonylation in these systems. Moreover, it was found that the local concentration of the active catalyst complex at the interface is essential for the reaction performance. Dependent on the surface active properties of the catalyst complex, its bulk concentration, and the nature and amount of additives, the local concentration of the active catalyst complex at the interface is strongly influenced, which has a huge impact on the reaction performance.
Published in: ACS Omega, 10.1021/acsomega.8b01708, ACS Publications