This invention relates to a process for producing acetic anhydride by the reaction of methyl acetate, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen at elevated temperatures and pressures in the presence of an alkyl halide and a heterogeneous, bifunctional catalyst that contains an insoluble polymer having pendant quaternized phosphine groups, some of which phosphine groups are ionically bonded to anionic Group VIII metal complexes, the remainder of the phosphine groups being bonded to iodide. In contrast to prior art processes, no accelerator (promoter) is necessary to achieve the catalytic reaction and the products are easily separated from the catalyst by filtration. The catalyst can be recycled for consecutive runs without loss in activity. Bifunctional catalysts for use in carbonylating dimethyl ether are also provided.
This invention was made with Government Support under Contract No. DE-FC22-95PC93052 between Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., and the United States Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights to this invention.