Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ethylene Glycol Process

Abstract
A process for preparing glycol aldehyde by reacting formaldehyde, hydrogen and carbon monoxide at elevated temperature and superatmospheric pressure in the presence of rhodium catalyst and conversion thereof to ethylene glycol as the substantially exclusive polyol product.

Claims

What is claimed is:
1. A process which comprises reacting formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and hydrogen in an aprotic solvent at a temperature of from about 75° C. to about 250° C.and superatmospheric pressure up to about 700 atmospheres to form glycol aldehyde in a first reaction stage and subsequently catalytically reducing the glycol aldehyde to form ethylene glycol in a second reaction stage, wherein a catalytic amount ofrhodium in complex combination with carbon monoxide is present at least during said first reaction stage.
2. A process according to claim 1 wherein said rhodium is present during said second reaction stage.
3. A process according to claim 1 wherein a hydrogenation catalyst is present during said second stage reaction.
4. A process according to claim 3 wherein said rhodium is removed from the first reaction stage product prior to said second stage reaction.
5. A process according to claim 3 wherein said hydrogenation catalyst comprises palladium.
6. A process according to claim 1 wherein said first and second stage reactions are conducted at a temperature of from about 100° to about 175° C.
7. A process for producing glycol aldehyde and/or ethyleneblycol which comprises reacting formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and hydrogen in an aprotic solvent at a temperature of from about 75° to about 250° C. and a pressure of fromabout 10 to about 700 atmospheres in the presence of a catalytic amount of a catalyst comprised of rhodium in complex combination with carbon monoxide and recovering glycol aldehyde and/or ethyleneblycol from said reaction.
8. A process according to claim 7 wherein said catalyst further comprises a tri-organo phosphine ligand.
gnq3j7rpih

Abstract
A process for preparing glycol aldehyde by reacting formaldehyde, hydrogen and carbon monoxide at elevated temperature and superatmospheric pressure in the presence of rhodium catalyst and conversion thereof to ethylene glycol as the substantially exclusive polyol product.

Claims

What is claimed is:
1. A process which comprises reacting formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and hydrogen in an aprotic solvent at a temperature of from about 75° C. to about 250° C.and superatmospheric pressure up to about 700 atmospheres to form glycol aldehyde in a first reaction stage and subsequently catalytically reducing the glycol aldehyde to form ethylene glycol in a second reaction stage, wherein a catalytic amount ofrhodium in complex combination with carbon monoxide is present at least during said first reaction stage.
2. A process according to claim 1 wherein said rhodium is present during said second reaction stage.
3. A process according to claim 1 wherein a hydrogenation catalyst is present during said second stage reaction.
4. A process according to claim 3 wherein said rhodium is removed from the first reaction stage product prior to said second stage reaction.
5. A process according to claim 3 wherein said hydrogenation catalyst comprises palladium.
6. A process according to claim 1 wherein said first and second stage reactions are conducted at a temperature of from about 100° to about 175° C.
7. A process for producing glycol aldehyde and/or ethyleneblycol which comprises reacting formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and hydrogen in an aprotic solvent at a temperature of from about 75° to about 250° C. and a pressure of fromabout 10 to about 700 atmospheres in the presence of a catalytic amount of a catalyst comprised of rhodium in complex combination with carbon monoxide and recovering glycol aldehyde and/or ethyleneblycol from said reaction.
8. A process according to claim 7 wherein said catalyst further comprises a tri-organo phosphine ligand.
gnq3j7rpih

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