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Pure Appl. Chem., 2012, Vol. 84, No. 3, pp. 541-551

Published online 2011-10-19

Polyoxometalate and copolymer-functionalized ionic liquid catalyst for esterification*

Huan Li1, Jizhong Chen1, Li Hua1, Yunxiang Qiao1, Yinyin Yu1, Zhenyan Pan1, Hanming Yang2 and Zhenshan Hou1*

1 Key Laboratory for Advanced Materials, Research Institute of Industrial Catalysis, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, 200237, China
2 Key Laboratory of Catalysis and Materials Science of the State Ethnic Affairs Commission and Ministry of Education, Hubei Province, South-Central University for Nationalities, Wuhan, 430074, China

Abstract: A new room-temperature ionic liquid (RTIL) consisting of a polyoxometalate (POM) anion and tri-block copolymer (P123)-functionalized imidazolium cation was synthesized and utilized as a halogen-free catalyst for esterification. The catalytic system was a homogeneous solution at the beginning of the reaction, but an emulsion formed during the course of the reaction, and a progressive phase separation of the catalyst occurred at 0 °C over the course of 3 h. Dynamic light scattering (DLS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and Fourier transform/infrared spectroscopy (FT/IR) have been used to characterize the properties of the IL during the reaction. The new IL catalyst was found to be highly efficient in the esterification of various alcohols and can be recycled at least seven times.
*Pure Appl. Chem. 84, 411–860 (2012). A collection of invited papers for the IUPAC project 2008-016-1-300 “Chlorine-free Synthesis for Green Chemistry”.