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Platinum Metals Rev., 1959, 3, (4), 139

A New Route to Acetaldehyde

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A process for the direct oxidation of ethylene to acetaldehyde announced by the Consortium fur Elektrochemische Industrie of Munich involves reacting a rising stream of ethylene-containing gas in a tower with a descending 0.1 M aqueous solution of palladium chloride:

Liquid from the tower is passed to a still, where crude acetaldehyde is stripped off, while the spent palladium chloride is regenerated by air oxidation in another tower:

The advantages claimed for this process, which gives a 90 per cent yield, include low initial investment and the use of cheap raw materials. The same route could, it is thought, be employed economically to produce acetone from propylene and methyl ethyl ketone from normal butylene.

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