Amides are produced by the reaction of an olefin having 2-10 C atoms with CO and an aminating agent: RR1C : CR2R3+Co+R4R5NH→RR1CHCR2R3CONR4R5, where R, R1, R2, and R3 may be H or alkyl and R4 and R5 may be H or aliphatic, cycloaliphatic, heterocyclic, or aromatic radicals. By subsequent reduction with H2, amines may be formed. The primary amides formed may be dehydrated to nitriles as a byproduct reaction. The reaction may take place in the liquid or vapor phase and may be a batch or continuous operation. The preferred temperature is 325°-375° and pressures of 500-20,000 p. s. i. or higher are preferred. Dehydrating catalysts (for example, H3PO4 and its metallic salts and oxides of metals of Group II and III of the periodic system) are desired for the amide formation, and hydrogenation catalysts (for example, Ni, Pt, Pd) are desired for the reduction to the amine. Best results are obtained when the CO is present in a molecular ratio to the olefin of at least 10 : 1 and in a molecular ratio to NH3 of at least 10 : 2. The preferred space velocity is 1,000-7,000 cu ft. reactant gas per cu. ft. catalyst per hr. Thus a mixture of CO, NH3, and C2H4 in molecular proportions 2 : 6 : 1 is fed through an activated C catalyst at 360°-370° at a space velocity of 1,500 and a pressure of 1,500 p. s. i. From the crude product, EtCONH2, b17 110°-120°, is obtained. Similarly, EtCONHMe and Me2CHCONH2, b. 219°-223°, are obtained with the appropriate olefin.
OLSON, L. E. See abs. 3739.
ORCHIN, M. See abs. 3897, 3898.