For the preparation of predominantly unbranched higher primary alcohols, olefins from the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis are reacted with hydrogen and carbon monoxide in the presence of water and a catalyst which is rhodium, in metallic form or as a compound, and a water-soluble phosphine. The reaction product obtained is hydrogenated. The water-soluble phosphines employed are compounds whose anion is a phosphine containing at least one sulfonated or carboxylated aromatic radical and whose cation is a quaternary ammonium or phosphonium ion.
PURPOSE: To obtain predominantly unbranched higher primary alcohols by carrying out Fisher-Tropsch reaction of olefins with CO and H2 in the presence of water, rhodiums and a specified water-soluble phosphine, in liquid phase at a specified temp. and under a specified pressure.
CONSTITUTION: Olefins (pref. 6-20C ones) are reacted with CO and H2 in the presence of water, an R or Rh compd. and water-soluble phosphine in liquid phase at 20-150°C under a pressure of 0.1-20 MPa, to obtain aldehydes. Then, aldehydes are hydrogenated, to obtain predominantly unbranched higher primary alcohols. The water-soluble phosphine whose anion is a phosphine containing at least one sulfonated or carboxylated arom. radical and whose cation or cations, corresponding to the charge of the anion, is or are one or more ions of the formula (Z is N or S; A is alkyl or aralkyl; B-D are each alkyl) is used. As anion, 3,4-dimethyl-2,5,6-tris(p-sulphonatephenyl)-1-phosphanorbornadiene, etc., are exemplified. As cation, trimethylcetylammonium ion, etc., are exemplified.