Transition metal-catalyzed oxidative double bond cleavage of simple and bio-derived alkenes and unsaturated fatty acids
The oxidative cleavage of the CC double bond in unsaturated fatty acids into aldehydes or carboxylic acids is a reaction of current interest in biomass valorization. The products of this reaction, which is currently being performed on an industrial scale by means of ozonolysis, can be applied for the production of commodity chemicals such as plasticizers and polymers. Alternative, catalytic methods for this conversion that are not based on the hazardous ozone oxidant are of high interest. In this respect, the use of transition metal catalysts would allow the application of milder reaction conditions and more benign oxidants. This review covers the various transition metal-based catalysts that have been reported for the oxidative cleavage of alkenes in general and the cleavage of unsaturated fatty acids in particular. Catalytic systems based on second- and third-row metals such as Ru, Os, and W have been widely studied and are well-known to catalyze the cleavage of various alkenes and unsaturated fatty acids. In addition to simple metal salts, metal oxides or peroxides, various metal coordination complexes have been investigated for chemo- and regioselective olefin cleavage. Heterogeneous catalyst systems based on these metals have, in addition, been studied with a focus on catalyst reuse. To circumvent the use of expensive, toxic or less abundant second- and third-row metal catalysts, the use of first-row transition metal catalysts for the cleavage reaction might be preferred. However, examples of such catalysts for oxidative olefin cleavage are much less documented. The application of Fe- and Mn-based catalysts currently is largely limited to activated alkenes, e.g. styrene derivatives. The many possibilities that are offered by careful ligand design together with the recent advances in the field of first-row transition metal oxidation catalysis may allow for the development of catalyst systems that substitute ozone or second- and third-row metal catalysts for the oxidative cleavage of simple alkenes and unsaturated fatty acids.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Sustainable catalytic conversions of renewable substrates