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The role of Zn in the sustainable one-pot synthesis of dimethyl carbonate from carbon dioxide, methanol and propylene oxide

Liu, M; Konstantinova, M; Negahdar, L; McGregor, J; (2020) The role of Zn in the sustainable one-pot synthesis of dimethyl carbonate from carbon dioxide, methanol and propylene oxide. Chemical Engineering Science , Article 116267. 10.1016/j.ces.2020.116267. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Dimethyl carbonate (DMC) can be applied as a greener alternative to more hazardous materials, e.g. phosgene or dimethyl sulfate. Herein, one-pot synthesis of DMC from propylene oxide, methanol and CO2 using alkali halide catalysts under mild conditions was studied. Addition of Zn powder to the K2CO3-NaBr-ZnO catalyst system was seen to increase DMC selectivity from 19.8% (TOF = 39.0 h-1) to 40.2% (TOF = 78.1 h-1) at 20 bar and 160 °C for 5 h. Catalyst characterisation showed that Zn powder increases the stability of the catalyst, preventing the active ingredients on the catalyst surface from leaching. An increase in propylene oxide conversion to DMC is attributed to the increase of Zn2+ ions in the reaction solution. Elevated pressure was not found to be a necessary reaction condition for transesterification. This study shows that increased selectivity to DMC can be achieved at mild conditions with the addition of Zn powder.

Type: Article
Title: The role of Zn in the sustainable one-pot synthesis of dimethyl carbonate from carbon dioxide, methanol and propylene oxide
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.ces.2020.116267
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ces.2020.116267
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Open Access article published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Dimethyl carbonate, CO2, Propylene oxide, alkali halide catalysts, Zn powder
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Chemistry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10114720
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