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Патент USA US2379104

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Patented‘ June 26, 1945
- 2,379,104
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE‘
2,379,104
MANUFACTURE OF ESTEBS
Alexander Miller Roberts, Widnes, England, as
signor to Imperial Chemical Industries Limited,
.
a corporation of Great Britain
>
No Drawing. Application May 22, 1942, Serial
,, No. 444,146. In Great Britain July 25, 1941
(Cl. 260—486)
paraformaldehyde in water; alternatively, aque
This invention relates to improvements in the
12 Claims.
manufacture of organic esters, and more particu
larly to the manufacture of the lower alkyl esters
of alpha-chloroacrylic acid.
.
In British Speci?cation No. 514,619 there is
described a method of manufacture of alpha
chloroacrylic acid and functional derivatives
thereof, by reacting formaldehyde or a polymer
thereof with trichloroethylene inthe presence of
sulphuric acid of at least 80% concentration, and
subsequently heating the reaction mixture to a
temperature of at least 80° 0., and preferably at
least 120“ C., in the presence of‘water and/or an
alcohol, the amount of water being less than 1.5
times, and preferably less than 1.0 times the
weight of the 100% sulphuric acid. In an ex
ample of the process showing the manufacture
of the acid using formalin as the source of form
aldehyde, a small amount of the methyl ester was
obtained which was stated to be formed from the
ous sulphuric acid (but not acid of less than 80%
strength) may be mixed with the trichloroethyl
ene and powdered formaldehyde added dry or as
a suspension in the alcohol, or gaseous formalde
hyde may be bubbled through the sulphuric acid.
trichloroethylene while the first part of the alco
hol is added. In any event, there should be suffi
cient acid present to prevent the ratio of 100%
sulphuric acid to water falling below 4:1 during
the interaction between the formaldehyde and
the trichloroethylene, and on account of the alco
hol added at the same time as the formaldehyde I
find it preferable to keep this ratio at approxi
mately 5:1.
’
'
I
In one form of my invention a mixture of tri
chloroethylene with concentrated sulphuric acid
in amounts between 3.5 and 4 mols. per mol. of
trichloroethylene, and a small amount of an anti
polymerisation catalyst such as copper carbonate,
are stirred vigorously and heated to an elevated
temperature, e. g. to 70° C. Lower temperatures
down to 30° may, however, be used also. A mix
esters of alpha-chloroacrylic acid are obtained by
ture of methanol and 40% formalin containing
the interaction of formaldehyde, trichloroethyl
ene and a lower aliphatic alcohol in the presence 25 '1 mol. of the former and between 0.8 and 0.9 mol.
of HCHO per mol. of the trichloroethylene is
of sulphuric acid, by a process which includes the
added while continuing the strring at such a rate
steps of adding concurrently to a mixture of tri
that the temperature of the reaction mixture is
chloroethylene and sulphuric acid of at least‘
automatically maintained; alternatively, meth
80% strength at reaction temperature both form
aldehyde or a polymer thereof and a substantial 80 anol and formalin in the same amounts may be
methanol present in the grade of formalin used.
According to the present invention lower alkyl
proportion of the alcohol, and subsequently sub
added separately but concurrently, the relative
rates of addition being such that the two addi
jecting the reaction mixture to a temperature of
tions are completed at about the same time. A
at least 80° C., and preferably at least 120° C. in
further mol. of methanol is then added and the
the presence of the remainder of the alcohol, and
temperature
raised to between 80° C. and 90° C.
of an amount of water between 0.1 and 1.0 times 36
and ?nally to about 100° C. until re?uxing ceases
the weight of the sulphuric acid.
and esteri?cation is complete. The mixture is
By this method improved yields of ester are ‘
then submitted to steam distillation and the
obtained in a shorter time than when all of the
ester ‘separated from the distillate and dried.
alcohol is added subsequent to the reaction of the
Alternatively, the mixture may be submitted to
40
direct distillation to recover the ester, and fur- .
By a lower aliphatic alcohol is meant methyl,
ther quantities of water, not more than will make
ethyl, propyl, or isopropyl alcohols, and by a sub
‘the ratio of 100% acid to water more than 1:1
stantial proportion of the alcohol between 30%
(by weight), may be added; when the formalde
and 70% of all that is to be added. Advantage
ously between 40% and 60% of the alcohol is 45 hyde has been added as formalin, no advantage
arises from so doing, but such additions are of
added with the formaldehyde. It is desirable to
advantage in repressing charring when, for ex
use a considerable excess of the alcohol over that
ample, dry paraformaldehyde is used with the
theoretically required to esterify the alpha
addition of less or no' water. During the distilla
chloroacrylic acid, and suitably about 2 mols. of
alcohol per mol. of trichloroethylene are used. 60 tion step, whether steam distillation or not, high
temperatures in excess of 120° C., e. g. 120-140°
Thus, in the preferred form of the invention,
‘0., are attained which are bene?cial for the best
about 1 mol. will be added concurrently with the
formaldehyde with the trichloroethylene.
yields. Instead of recovering the ester by distil
lation, the reaction mixture after the second addi
The formaldehyde is advantageously added as
formalin, but it may be added as a suspension of 65 tion of the alcohol could be heated gradually to
formaldehyde, and the remainder subsequently.
2
2,379,104
. above 120° C. for a time, e. g. between Y130" and
' 140°, and the ester subsequently recovered by
0.1 to 1.0 times the weight of the sulphuric acid.
extraction with a solvent, or by drowning the
" mixture in a large volume of‘ water, and separat
' alkyl esters of alpha-chloroacrylic acid by the .
2. In a process for the manufacture of lower
interaction of formaldehyde, trichloroethylene,
ing the ester layer.
and a lower aliphatic alcohol in the presence of
I find that during the steam distillation froth
ing is liable to occur, which may be repressed to a
considerable degree by adding a small amount of
an oil immediately before the distillation. Such
between 40% and 60% of the alcohol and a sub
stance selected from the group consisting of
formaldehyde and its polymers to a mixture at
sulphuric acid, the steps of concurrently adding
oils as castor oil, cotton seed oil, and heavy petro 10 reaction temperature of trichloroethylene with
leum hydrocarbon fractions may be used for this
suiiicient sulphuric acid to maintain the concen
purpose.
tration of the latter above 80% strength during
such addition, and subsequently subjecting the
The following example illustrates but does
not limit my invention, all parts being by weight:
. Emample
reaction mixture to a temperature of at least
15 80° C. in the presence of the remainder of the
alcohol and an amount of water between 0.1 to
1.0 times the weight of the sulphuric acid.
3. A process according to claim 1 in which
the total amount of alcohol added is approxi
ing methanol and formalin in a slow stream,
were introduced 656 parts of trichloroethylene, 20 mately 2 mols. per mol. of tricholoethylene.
4. A process according to claim 2 in which
1840 parts of 98% sulphuric acid and 8 parts of
the total amount of alcohol added is approxi
copper carbonate. The mixture was vigorously
mately 2 mols. per mol. of trichloroethylene.
stirred and heated to 70° C.; 360 parts of 40%
5. In a process for the manufacture of lower
(wt./vol.) formalin and 158 parts of methanol
alkyl esters of alpha-chloroacrylic acid by the in
were then slowly added so that the temperature
teraction of formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and
of the reaction mixture was. kept approximately
e a lower aliphatic alcohol in the presence of sul
at 70° C. and so that the two additions were
phuric acid, the steps of concurrently adding
completed at the same time. In the particular
formalin and a substantial proportion of the al
conditions under which the run was carried out I
it was found that this was achieved by adding 30 cohol to a mixture at reaction temperature of tri
chloroethylene with sui?cient concentrated sul
the formalin at the rate of 3.6 parts per minute
phuric acid to maintain the concentration there
and the methanol at the rate of 1.58 parts per
In a vessel ?tted with a stirrer, a re?ux con
denser, a thermometer, and means for introduc- .
minute.
The temperature ‘of the reaction mixture was
of above 80% strength during such addition, add
ing the remainder of the alcohol, heating to above
- then raised to 90° C‘. and a further 158 parts of 35 80° C. to complete esteri?cation of the alcohol,
methanol were added slowly. Finally the tem
perature was raised to 100° C. and the reaction
distilling the reaction mixture, and collecting the
alpha-chloroacrylic acid ester fraction.
6. In a process for the manufacture of lower
mixture was kept at this temperature for an
alkyl esters of alpha-chloroacrylic acid by the in
hour. 0.5 part of castor oil was then added to
the reaction mixture and steam distillation of 40 teraction of formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and
a lower aliphatic alcohol in the presence of sul
the ester was commenced. Ester began to dis
phuric acid, the steps of concurrently adding
til over when the vapour'temperature was 110°
C. and was continued until no oily layer sepa
formalin and between 40% and 60% of the alcohol
to a mixture at reaction temperature of trichloro
rated from the distillate; about 1 part of hy
droquinone was put into the receiver to stabilize 45 ethylene with su?lcient concentrated sulphuric
acid to maintain the concentration thereof above
the product. The monomer was then separated
80% strength during such addition, adding the
from the upper aqueous layer and dried over
calcium chloride; 552 parts of crude product
remainder of the alcohol, heating to above 80° C.
containing 440 parts of the pure methyl alpha;
to complete esteri?cation of the alcohol, distilling
chloroacrylate were thus obtained and were puri 60 the reaction mixture, and collecting the alpha
chloroacrylic acid ester fraction.
fied by fractionation. The ester in the crude
product thus corresponded to a 73% yield cal
7. A process according to claim 5 in which the
culated on the trichloroethylene, or 83% calcu
total amount of alcohol added is approximately 2,
mols. per mol.- of trichloroethylene.
lated on the formaldehyde.
By connecting the receiver for the distilled
8. A process according to claim 6 in which the
monomer to a second receiver maintained at
total amount of alcohol added is approximately 2
about —50° C., the ‘majority of the excess
mols. per mol. of trichloroethylene.
methanol used could be recovered as dimethyl
- 9. In a process for the manufacture of lower'
alkyl esters of alpha-chlor'oacrylic acid by the
ether.
,
I claim: _
00 interaction of formaldehyde, trichloroethylene,
1. In a process for the manufacture of lower
and a lower aliphatic alcohol in the presence of
alkyl ‘esters of alpha-chloroacrylic acid by the
interaction of formaldehyde, trichloroethylene
sulphuric acid, the steps of concurrently adding
and a lower aliphatic alcohol in the presence
formalin and a substantial proportion of the al
cohol to a mixture at reaction temperature of
of sulphuric acid, the steps of concurrently add 65 trichloroethylene with su?icient concentrated sul
ing a. substantial proportion of the alcohol and
phuric acid to maintain the concentration there
a substance selected from the group consisting
of above 80% strength during such addition, add- _
of formaldehyde and its polymers to a-mixture
ing the remainder of the alcohol, heating to above
at reaction temperature of trichloroethylene with
80° C. to complete esteri?cation of the alcohol,
sufficient sulphuric acid to maintain the con 70 submitting the reaction mixture to steam distilla
centration of the latter above 80% strength dur
ing such addition, and subsequently subjecting
the reaction mixture to. a temperature of at
tion, and separating the alpha-chloroacrylic acid
ester from the distillate.
'
'
10. In a process for the manufacture of methyl"
alpha-chloroacrylate by the interaction of form
least 80° C. in the presence of the remainder
of the alcohol and of an amount of water between 75 aldehyde, trichloroethylene, and methyl alcohol
2,379,104
in the presence or su?icient concentrated sul
phuric acid, the Steps of concurrently adding a
substantial proportion of the alcohol and; a sub
stance selected from the group consisting of form
aldehyde and its polymers to a mixture at reac
tion temperature of trichloroethylene with sum
cient sulphuric acid to maintain the concentra- -
tion of the latter above 80% strength during such
addition, and subsequently subjecting the reac
tion mixture to a temperature of at least 80° C.
in the presence of the remainder of the alcohol
and an amount of water between 0.1 and 1.0 time
the weight of the sulphuric acid.
‘
11. In a process for the manufacture of methyl
alpha-chloroacrylate by the interaction 01' form
aldehyde, trichloroethylene and methyl alcohol,
the steps of concurrently adding formalin and
a substantial proportion of the alcohol to a mix
ture at reaction temperature of the trichloro
ethylene with su?icient concentrated sulphuric go
,
3
acid to maintain the concentration thereof above
‘80% strength during such addition, adding the re
mainder of the alcohol, heating to above>80° C.
to complete esterliication oi.’ the alcohol, distilling
the reaction mixture-and collecting the alpha
chlomalcrylic acid ester fraction. -
12. In a process for the manufacture of methyl
alpha-chloroacrylate by the interaction of form
aldehyde, trichloroethylene, and methyl alcohol,
the steps of concurrently adding 1 mol. of methyl
alcohol and 0.8 to 0.9 mol. of formalin to a mixture
of 1 mo]. of trichloroethylene with between 3.5
and 4 mols. of concentrated sulphuric acid while
maintaining the reaction mixture at approxi
mately 70° 0., adding a further mol. of methyl al
cohol, heating under re?ux to 80° C. until re?ux
ing ceases, and steam distilling the reaction mix
ture.
_ ALEXANDER MILLER ROBERTS.
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