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Synthesis of dimethyl carbonate from CO2 catalyzed by spherical polymeric ionic liquid catalyst

Wenqiang Liu, Jiangxin Li, Yuheng Xie, Yajuan Wang, and Juan Zhang

College of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Engineering, Hebei University of Science and Technology, Shijiazhuang, People’s Republic of China



Received: 25 July 2023  Accepted: 20 October 2023


Dimethyl carbonate (DMC) is widely used and nontoxic and can replace more dangerous materials such as dimethyl sulfate or methyl chloride. Spherical particle catalysts (PILs-XSS) were synthesized by suspension polymerization, which was characterized by SEM–EDS, FT-IR, TG, and BET-BJH. The characterization results showed that PILs-XSS had a specific core structure, a certain pore size (14.3 nm), and surface area size (71.5m2/g) and remained stable at 293.4 °C. The catalyst performance was evaluated by a one-pot synthesis of dimethyl carbonate. The process conditions were optimized in detail. The optimal reaction conditions were as follows: the dosage of PILs-XSS was 2.5 wt %, the CO2 pressure was 1.5 MPa, the reaction temperature was 100 °C, the reaction time was 4 h, the molar ratio of methanol to propylene oxide (PO) was 3: 1, and the dosage of cocatalyst Na2CO3 was 3 wt %. Under the optimum conditions, the conversion of PO was up to 98.8% and the yield of DMC reached 53.7%. In addition, the combined catalyst PILs-Na2CO3 was easily recovered by filtration in the reaction system. After five times of repeated use, the activity and the shape of the catalyst were almost unchanged, which meant that the catalyst had amazing mechanical strength. This study found that the transesterification catalyst Na2CO3 not only had good transesterification efficiency but also promoted the reaction of CO2.

Graphical abstract

Keywords: Poly-ionic liquid; CO2; Dimethyl carbonate; Propylene oxide

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-023-03182-8


Chemical Papers 78 (3) 1553–1565 (2024)

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