Because of its low ionization potential, cesium effectively promotes the performance of many metal-oxide catalysts for heterogeneous processes. This effect is often enhanced by cesium's ability to stabilize high oxidation states of transition metal oxo anions.
By formation and stabilization of complex salts with transition metal halide catalysts, cesium will also promote heterogeneous halogen transfer processes. In homogenous catalysis, reaction rates are sometimes limited by the solubility of an anionic compound in an organic solvent, in which case the use of cesium as cation may solve the problem.
Cesium is successfully used in the below listed industrial catalysis:
- Cesium sulfate in sulfuric acid production
- Cesium carbonate in ammonia synthesis
- Cesium hydroxide in polyol synthesis
- Cesium hydroxide in epoxidation
- Cesium nitrate in MMA synthesis
Ziegler Natta (ZN) catalysts are widely used in the synthesis of α-olefin polymers, e.g. polypropylene, polyethylene and polybutadiene. The catalysts consist of a transition metal (Ti or V) and metal-organic groups and are supported for many applications on magnesium based carrier material. Developments in the late 1970s resulted in the metallocene type catalysts which were based on metal cyclopentadienyl complexes. By variation of the cyclopentadienyl ligands the properties of the α-olefin polymer can be controlled to produce either isotactic or to syndiotactic polymers.
Both types of catalysts require metal-organic compounds for the synthesis of the carrier material or the ligands. Albemarle with over 50 years of experience offers various lithium as well as magnesium based products. We supply products like methyllithium, n-, sec-, tert-butyllithium or Grignard compounds in various concentrations and solvents for the synthesis of metallocene-type catalysts. Our solid-free products dibutylmagnesium and n-butylmagnesium chloride are today widely used to manufacture magnesium carrier material for highly active ZN catalysts.
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