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Synthesis of methyl acetoacetate from acetone and dimethyl carbonate with alkali-promoted MgO catalysts

Dudu Wu and Zhi Chen

School of Pharmacy, Guangdong Medical College, Dongguan, 523808 China



Abstract: The synthesis of methyl acetoacetate (MAA) by methoxycarbonylation of acetone with dimethyl carbonate (DMC) was carried out in the presence of MgO and alkali-promoted MgO catalysts. From among Li, Na, K, and Cs, potassium was found to be the most effective promoter to improve the activity of MgO. The effect of K/MgO with variable content of K was also investigated, and the individual catalysts were characterised by the XRD, BET, SEM, CO2-TPD, and in situ CO2 IR techniques. The results showed that the addition of a small amount of K (1.97 mass %) could promote MAA formation, but a higher K loading caused a decrease in the yield of MAA, which might result from particle agglomeration and the presence of stable potassium carbonates. In situ FTIR experiments of co-adsorbed reactants indicated that the reaction probably proceeded via abstraction of Hα from acetone by base sites.

Keywords: methyl acetoacetate - acetone - dimethyl carbonate - MgO - alkali metals

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.2478/s11696-010-0068-9


Chemical Papers 64 (6) 758–766 (2010)

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