Continuous hydroformylation of 1-decene in an aqueous biphasic system enabled by methylated cyclodextrins†
For the first time, randomly methylated β-cyclodextrin was applied as the mass transfer agent in a continuous process. Considering the example of the Rh-catalyzed hydroformylation of 1-decene, process development was shown, where cyclodextrin was used together with a catalyst system that was continuously recovered and recycled using an aqueous biphasic system. In initial experiments, water-soluble and commercially available Rh/TPPTS and Rh/sulfoxantphos catalyst systems were scaled up from 50 ml into 1000 ml high-pressure autoclave systems to demonstrate their scalability. Both these systems were compared, and they afforded excellent chemoselectivity (>99%) toward the desired linear aldehyde product. In particular, higher regioselectivity (up to 31) was achieved for the Rh/sulfoxantphos system. Investigations regarding the long-term stability of the mass transfer agent and both catalyst systems were carried out in a continuously operated miniplant process. It was shown that the process could be successfully operated under the steady state for over 200 h with chemoselectivity of >97% toward the desired aldehyde product. Simultaneously, extremely low Rh leaching (total: 0.59%) was observed over the entire period of 200 h.