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Nickel: An Element With Wide Application In Industrial Homogeneous Catalysis

W. Keim
Published 1990 · Chemistry

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The efficiency and future development of the chemical industry are closely linked to catalysis. It has been estimated, for example, that 60 to 70% of all industrial chemicals have involved the use of a catalyst at some point during their manufacture. In the past two decades the share of the market credited to homogeneous transition metal catalysis increasead to 10–15%. Besides cobalt, which is used mainly in hydroformylation reactions, nickel is the most frequently used metal. Many carbon–carbon bond formation reactions can be carried out with high selectivity if catalyzed by organonickel complexes. Such reactions include, inter alia, carbonylation reactions, cyclic and linear oligomerization and polymerization reactions of monoenes and dienes, and hydrocyanation reactions. It was Reppe and Wilke who pioneered and shaped the field of homogeneous nickel catalysis. Great impetus was also given to the development of organonickel chemistry by Wilke and his students. Research in this area has contributed immensely towards an understanding of the reactions involved in catalysis.—This review is primarily concerned with nickel-catalyzed reactions which are of interest both preparatively and industrially; some mechanistic aspects are also dealt with.

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