SYNTHESIS OF DIMETHYL CARBONATE AND PROPYLENE GLYCOL FROM TRANSESTERIFICATION OF PROPYLENE CARBONATE AND METHANOL USING QUATERNARY AMMONIUM SALT CATALYSTS


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Abstract

The synthesis of dimethyl carbonate (DMC) was investigated through the transesterification of propylene carbonate (PC) with methanol using quaternary ammonium salt catalysts. The reaction was carried out in an autoclave at 120-140 oC under carbon dioxide pressure of 250-400 psig. The main by-product was propylene glycol. The quaternary salts of larger alkyl group and more nucleophilic counter anion exhibited higher catalytic activity. Kinetic studies were also performed to better understand the reaction mechanism. Quaternary ammonium chlorides immobilized on polystyrene supports were also tested for their possible uses as heterogeneous catalysts.

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