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Pure Appl. Chem., 2000, Vol. 72, No. 9, pp. 1793-1797

Selective monomethylation reactions of methylene-active compounds with dimethylcarbonate. An example of clean synthesis

Pietro Tundo

Department of Environmental Science, Cà Foscari University of Venice and Interuniversity Consortium "Chemistry for the Environment", Italy

Abstract: Dimethylcarbonate (DMC), an environmentally friendly substitute for dimethylsulfate and methyl halides in methylation reactions, is also a very selective reagent. Under batch conditions, with potassium carbonate as the catalyst, the reactions of DMC, used as the solvent of the reactions, with methylene-active compounds (arylacetonitriles and arylacetoesters, aroxyacetonitriles and methyl aroxyacetates, benzylaryl- and alkylaryl-sulfones) produce monomethylated derivatives, with a selectivity not previously observed (i. e., >99%). These are examples of "green chemistry".