A nickel based catalyst，which is used for producing 1,2-Cyclohexanedicarboxylic esters from phthalates has been successfully developed by 508 group，ICC. The nickel catalyst shows similar performance with the noble mental catalysts that used in the industry.
Because of good scalability，plasticity，photo-thermal stability，phthalates are often used as an additive in plasticizer. But recent research showed that phthalates are harmful to human health，especially to women and children. Many countries have restricted the use of phthalates in foods and toys by legislation. After the 2011 “plasticizer scandal” in Taiwan，China also strengthened its regulations on phthalates.
In addition to good scalability，plasticity，photo-thermal stability, 1,2-cyclohexanedicarboxylic esters also feature low element transferability and toxicity. Therefore, 1,2-cyclohexanedicarboxylic esters are good substitutes for phthalates used in toys，medical instruments and food-related plastics.
Usually，1,2-cyclohexanedicarboxylic esters are obtained by hydrogenation of phthalates under high pressure and using noble metal as catalyst active component. The catalyst is very expensive and the feed-stock conversion and product selectivity unsatisfactory. After one year’s research, a novel nickel catalyst was developed by 508 Group. With this novel catalyst, the phthalates conversion rate reaches as high as 99.5%, and the 1,2-cyclohexanedicarboxylic ester selectivity 99%. Furthermore，the reaction pressure was dramatically decreased.