The Challenge of Selectivity in Ethylene Oligomerization: Ligand Design and Metal Valence States

The Challenge of Selectivity in Ethylene Oligomerization: Ligand Design and Metal Valence States

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Title: The Challenge of Selectivity in Ethylene Oligomerization: Ligand Design and Metal Valence States
Author: Thapa, Indira
Abstract: Catalytic ethylene oligomerization is a well understood industrially viable process. The large majority of scientific literature and patents concerning this process has been developed with the use of chromium catalysts. Commercial systems producing selective tri/tetramerization, non-selective oligomerization and polymerization are all based on this metal with the exception of a few systems based on other transition metals (Zr, Ti, Ni etc.). This versatility raises interesting questions about chromium’s unique behaviour. Essentially, selective or non-selective oligomerization and polymerization processes could be regarded as belonging to the same category of C-C bond forming reactions, though different mechanisms are involved. The first part of this thesis explores a variety of chromium complexes for ethylene oligomerization purposes. In order to gather further information about the unique behaviour of chromium, we have explored a variety of nitrogen and phosphorus containing ligands. We started with a simple bi-dentate anionic amidophosphine (NP) ligand and assessed the role of the ligand’s negative charge and number of donor atoms in determining the type of catalytic behaviour in relation to the metal oxidation state. This ligand proved capable of generating a series of chromium dimeric, tetrameric or polymeric and even heterobimetallic chromium-aluminate complexes in different valence states. This allowed us to isolate a “single component” self activating Cr(II) complex as well as a rare example of mixed valence Cr(I)/Cr(II) species. Additionally, each of these species acted as switchable catalyst depending on the type of co-catalyst
Date: 2012
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/23188
Supervisor: Gambarotta, Sandro
Faculty: Sciences / Science
Degree: PhD

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