Synthesis of Propylene Carbonate from Carbon Dioxide and Propylene Oxide Using Zn-Mg-Al Composite Oxide as High-efficiency Catalyst
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A series of Zn-Al composite oxides that were modified with alkaline earth metals, Zn-M-Al-O (M = Mg, Ca, Sr, and Ba) were fabricated via calcination of the corresponding hydrotalcite precursors, and evaluated as catalysts for the synthesis of propylene carbonate (PC) from CO2 and propylene oxide. Among the Zn-M-Al-O catalysts, Zn-Mg-Al-O (Zn/Mg = 4.0, pH = 10, without hydrothermal treatment) is the best in performance, showing PC selectivity of 99.2% and yield of 88.8% (140 °C, 12 h). Furthermore, the Zn-Mg-Al-O catalyst can be readily reused and recycled without any loss of activity in a test of five cycles. Through detailed studies of the basic nature of the Zn-M-Al-O catalysts, it was found that a moderate basicity (6.1 ≤ H0 < 8.9) is beneficial to the cycloaddition reaction. The NH3- and CO2-TPD results also indicate that the Zn-Mg-Al-O catalyst has acid–base bifunctional properties, and a reaction mechanism is proposed.
KeywordsZn-Mg-Al-O composite oxide Propylene carbonate Propylene oxide Carbon dioxide Heterogeneous catalysis
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