Renewable linear alpha olefins by selective ethenolysis of decarboxylated fatty acids

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A two-step concept for the production of linear alpha olefins from biomass is reported. As a starting material an internally unsaturated C17 alkene was used, which was obtained by the decarboxylation of oleic acid. Here, we report on the ethenolysis of this bio-based product, using commercially available metathesis catalysts. The desired alpha olefin products, 1-nonene and 1-decene, were obtained in excellent yield (96%) and selectivity (96%). Practical applications: The two-step conversion described in this contribution, starting from unsaturated fatty acids, provides a method for the production of industrially important linear alpha olefins. These valuable products are widely used as starting materials for the production of surfactants and polymers such as linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)911-918
JournalEuropean Journal of Lipid Science and Technology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • productive catalyst turnovers
  • metathesis catalysts
  • cross-metathesis
  • methyl oleate
  • natural oils
  • dimethyl carbonate
  • high conversion
  • diesel fuel
  • deoxygenation
  • feedstocks


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