Water-tolerant graphene oxide as a high-efficiency catalyst for the synthesis of propylene carbonate from propylene oxide and carbon dioxide

Dong Hui Lan, Fan Ming Yang, Sheng Lian Luo, Chak Tong AU, Shuang Feng Yin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Graphene oxide (GO) was found to be a metal-free, water-tolerant and high-efficiency catalyst towards the cycloaddition of carbon dioxide (CO 2) to propylene oxide (PO) for the synthesis of propylene carbonate (PC) at room temperature (RT) and atmospheric pressure without the need for a solvent. Using GO as catalyst and tetrabutylammonium bromide (Bu4NBr) as co-catalyst, PO is rapidly converted to PC with 96% yield and 100% selectivity under relatively mild conditions (100 °C, 2.25 MPa, 1 h). The effects of catalyst amount, temperature, time and water (H2O) addition on the reaction were investigated. It is found that the presence of a proper amount of H2O enhances the conversion of epoxide remarkably. A comparison of the catalytic activities of a number of reduced graphene oxide (r-GO) samples under similar reaction conditions revealed that it is the hydroxyl groups (rather than the carboxyl groups) on GO that form hydrogen bonds with PO, and act synergistically with halide anions to promote the cycloaddition reaction. A possible mechanism is proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-360
Number of pages10
JournalCarbon
Volume73
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)

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