This literature discussion is based on one of early papers detailing the mechanism for the Monsanto acetic acid process (J. Am. Chem. Soc., 1976, 98, 846). In this communicaiton the identification of key intermediates in this process is carried out using infrared spectroscopy. While the paper is an easy read, there are lots of subtle points that can be brought out by asking the right questions which hopefully this LO does. Although we have plenty of excellent LOs asking students to identify the individual steps in the catalytic mechanism, this LO takes a slightly different approach and marches students through the mechanism.
Upon completing this LO students should be able to
- Use the CBC method to count electrons in the rhodium compounds in this paper
- Describe the bonding interaction between a metal and a terminal carbonyl ligand
- Identify the various reactions taking place in the Monsanto acetic acid process
- Relate data from IR spectroscopy to the bonding interaction between a metal and a ligand and to the identification of intermediates in this process