Liquid coordination complexes: a new class of Lewis acids as safer alternatives to BF3 in synthesis of polyalphaolefins
Liquid coordination complexes (LCCs) are a new class of liquid Lewis acids, prepared by combining an excess of a metal halide (e.g. GaCl3) with a basic donor molecule (e.g. amides, amines or phosphines). LCCs were used to catalyse oligomerisation of 1-decene to polyalphaolefins (PAOs). Molecular weight distribution and physical properties of the produced oils were compliant with those required for low viscosity synthetic (Group IV) lubricant base oils. Kinematic viscosities at 100 °C of ca. 4 or 6 cSt were obtained, along with viscosity indexes above 120 and pour points below −57 °C. In industry, to achieve similar properties, BF3 gas is used as a catalyst. LCCs are proposed as a safer and economically attractive alternative to BF3 gas for the production of polyalphaolefins.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Green solvents for synthesis