For carbonylations, metal carbonyls, particularly cobalt and iron carbonyls, are often used as catalysts. These reactions take place under rather drastic reaction conditions, e.g. 200–300 °C and 60–100 MPa. In some patents it is stated that similar reactions using the same catalysts can also be carried out under rather mild reaction conditions, such as 0–100 °C and 0–2.5 MPa. We studied the conversion of benzyl chloride to phenyl acetic methyl ester in a semi-batch reactor in which one of the reactants was slowly added to the reactor. In this way a non-catalysed parallel reaction could be oppressed for the greater part. The highest conversions and selectivities were obtained when a solution of sodium methylate in methanol was slowly added to a reaction mixture containing benzyl chloride. In this way under optimized conditions a conversion of benzyl chloride of 100% has been found. It also appears that the conversion and selectivity decrease not only at low but also at high CO partial pressures. A possible explanation for this phenomenon will be given.
|Journal||Chemical engineering and processing : process intensification|
|Publication status||Published - 1986|