This invention relates to a process for producing ethylidene diacetate by the reaction of dimethyl ether, acetic acid, hydrogen and carbon monoxide at elevated temperatures and pressures in the presence of an alkyl halide and a heterogeneous, bifunctional catalyst that is stable to hydrogenation and comprises an insoluble polymer having pendant quaternized heteroatoms, some of which heteroatoms are ionically bonded to anionic Group VIII metal complexes, the remainder of the heteroatoms 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 3 consecutive runs without loss in activity.
This invention was made with Government Support under Contract No. DE-FC22-95PC93052 between Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., and the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights to this invention.