Holt, Donald L. Monsanto Company, St. Louis, Missouri.
Last reviewed:July 2021
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An aldehyde synthesis process that falls under the general classification of a Fischer-Tropsch reaction but is distinguished by the addition of an olefin feed along with the characteristic carbon monoxide and hydrogen. In the oxo process for alcohol manufacture, hydroformylation of olefins to aldehydes is the first step. The second step is the hydrogenation of the aldehydes to alcohols. At times the term “oxo process” is used in reference to the hydroformylation step alone. In the hydroformylation step, olefin, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen are reacted over a cobalt catalyst to produce an aldehyde which has one more carbon atom than the feed olefin. The olefin conversion takes place by the addition of a formyl group (CHO) and a hydrogen atom across the double bond. This is represented by reaction (1).
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