Hydroformylation in perfluorinated solvents; improved selectivity, catalyst retention and product separation

DF Foster, D Gudmensen, DJ Adams, AM Stuart, EG Hope, David John Cole-Hamilton, GP Schwarz, P Pogorzelec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


The hydroformylation of linear terminal alkenes using rhodium based catalysts under fluorous biphasic conditions in the presence and absence of toluene is reported. Using fluorinated ponytails to modify triarylphosphites and triarylphosphines, good selectivities and reactivities can be obtained, along with good retention of the catalyst and ligand within the fluorous phase. Using P(O-4-C6H4C6F13)(3) (P/Rh=3:1) as the ligand in toluene/perfluoro-1,3-dimethylcyclohexane, good results are obtained at 60degreesC, but decomposition of the catalyst and/or ligand occurs on increasing the temperature. More impressive results are obtained by omitting the toluene, with higher rates, better l/b ratios, and better retention of the catalyst and the phosphite within the perfluorocarbon solvent. Competing isomerisation restricts linear aldehyde selectivities to <76%. When P(4-C6H4C6F13)(3) is used as the ligand in the absence of toluene, even more impressive results can be obtained, with linear aldehyde selectivities up to 80.9%, high rates, and the retention of up to 99.95% of the rhodium and up to 96.7% of the phosphine within the fluorous phase. These results are compared with those of commercial systems for propene hydroformylation and with those previously reported in the literature for hydroformylation under fluorous biphasic conditions. Phase behaviour studies show that 1-octene is completely miscible with the fluorous solvent under the conditions used for the hydroformylation experiments, but that the product nonanal, phase separates. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3901-3910
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2002


  • fluorous
  • biphasic
  • hydroformylation
  • rhodium


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