Catalysts and methods for the double carbonylation of epoxides are disclosed. Each epoxide molecule reacts with two molecules of carbon monoxide to produce a succinic anhydride. The reaction is facilitated by catalysts combining a Lewis acidic species with a transition metal carbonyl complex. The double carbonylation is achieved in single process by using reaction conditions under which both carbonylation reactions occur without the necessity of isolating or purifying the product of the first carbonylation.
This invention was made with Government support under Grant No. NSF 0243605, awarded by the National Science Foundation and/or Grant No. DOE DE-FG02-05ER15687, awarded by the Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.