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In partnership with the Leibniz Institute for Catalysis, Evonik Industries has developed what is says is the first direct carbonylation of 1,3-butadiene. The partners succeeded in double carbonylating the common olefin to produce adipic acid salts, including one used to make nylon 6. At the heart of the process is a novel palladium catalyst based on a phosphine ligand. Current routes to adipates are complex and energy intensive, and emit the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide.
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