Described are methods of making organic compounds by metathesis chemistry. The methods of the invention are particularly useful for making industrially-important organic compounds beginning with starting compositions derived from renewable feedstocks, such as natural oils. The methods make use of a cross-metathesis step with an olefin compound to produce functionalized alkene intermediates having a pre-determined double bond position. Once isolated, the functionalized alkene intermediate can be self-metathesized or cross-metathesized (e.g., with a second functionalized alkene) to produce the desired organic compound or a precursor thereto. The method may be used to make bifunctional organic compounds, such as diacids, diesters, dicarboxylate salts, acid/esters, acid/amines, acid/alcohols, acid/aldehydes, acid/ketones, acid/halides, acid/nitriles, ester/amines, ester/alcohols, ester/aldehydes, ester/ketones, ester/halides, ester/nitriles, and the like.
This invention was made with U.S. Government support under Award Number DE-FG36-04GO14016 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government may have certain rights in this invention.