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Metal imido-catalyzed ethylene and 1-hexene dimerization

MESSINIS, ANTONIOS,MARINOU (2013) Metal imido-catalyzed ethylene and 1-hexene dimerization. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis investigates the development of well-defined ethylene and 1-hexene dimerization pro-initiators related to the industrially important SASOL α-olefin dimerization system, which consists of WCl6/RNH2/Et3N activated by EtAlCl2. The role of Et3N in the SASOL system is to remove HCl generated from the reaction of the amine with WCl6, something that is suggestive of the possible in situ formation of tungsten imido complexes. To probe the potential role of tungsten imido species, here a range of ethylene and 1-hexene dimerization experiments are described using discrete tungsten, niobium, and tantalum imido complexes in combination with an alkyl aluminum activator (usually EtAlCl2). In order to better understand the possible dimerization mechanisms, selected reactions of the aforementioned imido complexes with alkyl aluminum reagents are also explored.

Chapter 1: the industrial importance of olefins and the olefin oligomerization processes are introduced with emphasis on the SASOL α-olefin dimerization system. Mechanistic aspects of the olefin oligomerization process are outlined giving examples of previously reported ethylene and 1-hexene dimerization systems. The aims of this PhD thesis are summarized.

Chapter 2: the synthesis and structural characterization of a range of tungsten bis(imido) complexes W(NR)(NR’)Cl2(DME) (R, R’ = alkyl or aryl) is presented. The activity of such complexes as pro-initiators in the dimerization of ethylene and 1-hexene is detailed and the effects of ethylene pressure, temperature, activator, pro-initiator concentration, pro-initiator:activator ratios, and use of additives explored; pro-initiator structure-catalytic activity correlations are established. Preliminary mechanistic studies of tungsten bis(imido)-mediated dimerization are described.

Chapter 3: tungsten mono(imido) complexes, W(NR)Cl4(THF) and [W(NR)Cl4]2 (R = alkyl or aryl), are tested in the dimerization of ethylene and 1-hexene. Studies similar to those in Chapter 2 are described, demonstrating that such mono(imido) complexes are reasonably active and selective ethylene and 1-hexene dimerization pro-initiators. Reactions between the tungsten mono(imido) complexes and alkyl aluminum reagents are detailed, providing insight into the role of the aluminum activator in the dimerization process; these suggest that reduction of the tungsten centre is an important part of the initiation process. Hence, discrete W(IV) and W(V) mono(imido) complexes were tested for olefin dimerization, with the latter being active. The beneficial effect of additives (chloride anions, amines) in catalytic dimerization reaction is demonstrated and their mode of action probed.

Chapter 4: the use of niobium and tantalum imido complexes, M(NR)Cl3(DME), as pro-initiators is explored. In contrast to their tungsten counterparts these group V imido complexes were able to both polymerize and/or dimerize ethylene, but were inactive towards1-hexene.

Chapter 5: full experimental details are presented.

Chapter 6: supplementary information including - reactivity of the alkyl aluminum reagents employed for the activation of the pro-initiators; definitions used in the analysis of catalysis test data (TON, etc); and development and validation of methods for the analysis of olefin dimerization products.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:ethylene, 1-hexene, tungsten, tantalum, niobium, imido, dimerization
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Chemistry, Department of
Thesis Date:2013
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:20 Jan 2014 12:46

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