Catalysis Letters

, Volume 149, Issue 3, pp 699–712 | Cite as

Commercial Polymer Microsphere Grafted TBD-Based Ionic Liquids as Efficient and Low-Cost Catalyst for the Cycloaddition of CO2 with Epoxides

  • Weili DaiEmail author
  • Jie Mao
  • Ying Liu
  • Pei Mao
  • Xubiao Luo
  • Jianping Zou


Development of efficient, cheap and recyclable catalysts for the synthesis of cyclic carbonates from CO2 and epoxides is still a very attractive topic. Herein, the polymer grafted TBD-based ionic liquids (ILs) were fabricated from commercially available polystyrene (PS) and ingredients of the ILs, and used as heterogeneous catalysts for the conversion of CO2 into cyclic carbonates in the absence of solvent and co-catalyst. To improve the catalytic performance, various substitutes (such as –COOH, –OH and –NH2) were functionalized on the TBD cation. Among the as-obtained catalysts, carboxyl-containing catalyst (PS–[CETBD]Br) showed superior activity than others, which may be attributed to the stronger polarization capability of –COOH on the C–O bond of epoxide through the formed hydrogen bonding. Additionally, the combined synergistic effect of the nucleophilic attack by the halide anions also account for the facile ring-opening of epoxide. It is noted that CO2 can be activated by the formation of carbamate between CO2 and alkaline nitrogen of the TBD cations, thus facilitating the formation of cyclic carbonates. Moreover, the catalyst shows good chemical stability and catalytic reusability, which is very important for the practical conversion of CO2 in chemical industry.

Graphical Abstract


TBD-based ionic liquids Heterogeneous catalysis Carbon dioxide Cyclic carbonate Epoxide 



This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51572119, and 51662031), and Distinguished Young Scientists program of Jiangxi Province (Grant No. 20162BCB23040).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Weili Dai
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jie Mao
    • 1
  • Ying Liu
    • 1
  • Pei Mao
    • 1
  • Xubiao Luo
    • 1
  • Jianping Zou
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Jiangxi Province for Persistant Pollutants Control and Resources RecycleNanchang Hangkong UniversityNanchangChina

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