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A "Green" Route to Adipic Acid: Direct Oxidation of Cyclohexenes with 30 Percent Hydrogen Peroxide

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Science  11 Sep 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5383, pp. 1646-1647
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5383.1646

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Abstract

Currently, the industrial production of adipic acid uses nitric acid oxidation of cyclohexanol or a cyclohexanol/cyclohexanone mixture. The nitrous oxide emission from this process measurably contributes to global warming and ozone depletion. Therefore, the development of an adipic acid production process that is less damaging to the environment is an important subject in chemical research. Cyclohexene can now be oxidized directly to colorless crystalline adipic acid with aqueous 30 percent hydrogen peroxide under organic solvent- and halide-free conditions, which could provide an ideal solution to this serious problem.

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