Publication Date

4-9-2021

Department

Ames Laboratory; Chemistry

Campus Units

Chemistry, Ames Laboratory

Report Number

IS-J 10459

DOI

10.1016/j.chempr.2021.03.007

Journal Title

Chem

Abstract

Catalytic methods that introduce functional groups via carbon–carbon bond cleavage steps have typically been limited to moieties activated by strain or by directing groups, with few transformations engaging the bonds of only sp3-hybridized carbon atoms in saturated hydrocarbons. Here, we report the conversion of catenated carbon chains in polyolefins, which currently represent >50% of discarded plastics, into shorter aliphatic alkylaluminum species via a sequence of zirconation via C–H bond activation, β-alkyl elimination for carbon–carbon bond cleavage, and heterobimetallic alkyl group exchange for carbon–aluminum bond formation. The versatility of aliphatic alkylaluminum species is exemplified by their subsequent conversion into high-value fatty acids or alcohols, which have applications as biodegradable surfactants and detergents. A technoeconomic analysis indicates that fatty alcohols produced from discarded polyolefins are cost competitive with conventional syntheses. Thus, this process could ameliorate economic and environmental challenges of the plastic-waste crisis.

DOE Contract Number(s)

AC02-07CH11358; AC02-06CH11357

Language

en

Publisher

Iowa State University Digital Repository, Ames IA (United States)

Available for download on Saturday, April 09, 2022

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