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Preparation of propylene carbonate catalyzed by ionic liquid

Wenlin Zhang, Jiaming He, Bin Zhang, Yuxin Wang, Jinping Luo, Yongqi Zhao, and Chunli Li

National-Local Joint Engineering Laboratory for Energy Conservation in Chemical Process Integration and Resources Utilization, School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Hebei University of Technology, Tianjin, China



Received: 25 July 2019  Accepted: 8 January 2020


The ionic liquid chlorination (1-amino-2-propyl alcohol)-3-buthylimidazole containing amino and hydroxy from the difunctional group is newly synthesized, the characterization of which is analyzed with NMR. It can catalyze CO2 and propylene oxide (PO) under certain conditions for preparation of propylene carbonate, with the conversion of 80.1% and the selectivity of 92.5%, which has superior performance to that of monoamino ionic liquid. The density functional theory and the quantum theory of atoms in molecules are adopted to theoretically analyze the stable structure and interactive relationship. According to the results of quantum chemical calculation, it is concluded that the functional groups of amino and hydroxy on IL are coupled with PO to generate hydrogen bond, based on which the mechanism of cycloaddition reaction can be inferred.

Keywords: Ionic liquids; Propylene carbonate; Quantum chemistry; CO2; Propylene oxide

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-020-01053-0


Chemical Papers 74 (8) 2583–2590 (2020)

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