Catalytic upgrading of higher 1-alkenes from polyethylene thermal cracking by modified Wacker oxidation
The economic success of feedstock recycling procedures for plastic wastes is increasingly demanding the conversion of the starting residue into more valuable chemicals. Thermal cracking of polyethylenes leads to the preparation of equimolar mixtures of n-paraffins and 1-alkenes within the C2–C100 range. These 1-olefins can be catalytically upgraded by selective oxidation processes to more valuable products (e.g., ketones and fatty acids) with different uses such as polar waxes, cetane improvers, varnishes, and printer inks. The results obtained on oxidation in a modified Wacker system of a model 1-olefin (1-dodecene) as well as of a distillate cut (C10–C25) of the product from the thermal cracking of urban polyethylene waste are described.