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Pure Appl. Chem., 2012, Vol. 84, No. 3, pp. 755-762

Published online 2011-10-15

Synthesis of glycerol carbonate from glycerol and dimethyl carbonate in basic ionic liquids*

Cinzia Chiappe* and Sunita Rajamani

Dipartimento di Chimica e Chimica Industriale, Università di Pisa, via Bonanno 33, 56126, Pisa, Italy

Abstract: Glycerol carbonate is a key multifunctional compound used as solvent, additive, and building block in alternative chlorine-free processes. Here, we report the synthesis of glycerol carbonate from renewable materials (glycerol and dimethyl carbonate, DMC) using basic ionic liquids (ILs) as catalysts. After process optimization, it has been possible to isolate pure glycerol carbonate in quantitative yield using a three-fold excess of DMC and ca. 15 % of IL. The IL could be reused at least four times without any significant reduction in the conversion yield.
*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”.