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1-hexene is a higher olefin, or alkene, with a formula C6H12. 1-hexene is an alpha-olefin, meaning that the double bond is located at the alpha (primary) position, endowing the compound with higher reactivity and thus useful chemical properties. 1-hexene is an industrially significant linear alpha olefin.
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Industrially, 1-hexene is commonly manufactured by two main routes: oligomerization of ethene and by Fischer-Tropsch synthesis followed by purification. Another route to 1-hexene, used commercially on small scale, is dehydration of alcohols. Prior to the 1970's 1-hexene was also manufactured by the thermal cracking of waxes. Linear internal hexenes were manufactured by chlorination/dehydrochlorination of linear paraffins.
There are five commercial processes which oligomerize ethene to 1-hexene. Four of these processes produce 1-hexene as a part of a wide distribution of alpha-olefins. Typically, 1-hexene content ranges from about twenty percent distribution in the Ethyl (Innovene) process, whereas only twelve percent of distribution in the Gulf (CP Chemicals) and Idemitsu processes.
The only commercial process to isolate 1-hexene from a wide mixture of C6 hydrocarbons is practiced by Sasol Ltd., a South African oil and gas and petrochemical company. Sasol commercially employs Fischer-Tropsch synthesis to make fuels from synthesis gas derived from coal. The synthesis recovers 1-hexene from the afformentioned fuel streams, where the initial 1-hexene concentration cut may be 60% in a narrow distillation, with the remainder being vinylidenes, linear and branched internal olefins, linear and branched paraffins, alcohols, aldehydes, carboxylic acids and aromatic compounds.
One process, the Phillips ethene trimerization process, produces only 1-hexene.
The primary use of 1-hexene is as a comonomer in production of polyethene. High density polyethene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethene (LLDPE) use approximately 2-4% and 8-10% of comonomers.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "1-Hexene". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.