Glycerol carbonate, a raw material used for producing polycarbonate, was synthesized from biomass-derived glycerol and CO2. This synthetic approach employs CaO as a regenerable dehydrating agent. All carbon atoms of the final product are derived from CO2, and the only byproduct is H2O.
Glycerol carbonate, a high value-added chemical, is produced from glycerol, a surplus biomass byproduct of biodiesel production, and carbon dioxide, an inexhaustible raw material. In this study, calcium oxide (CaO) was used as a regenerable dehydrating agent, and Zn(OTf)2/1,10-phenanthroline was used as the catalyst. Stirring with a common magnetic stirrer bar was found to be unsuitable for the reaction, owing to the solidification of calcium components after dehydration. However, mechanical stirring effectively resolves this issue and produces a high yield. The only byproduct of the reaction is H2O, since CaO is regenerable. In addition, because the carbon atoms of biomass-derived glycerol are obtained from CO2 fixed by plant photosynthesis, all the carbon atoms of glycerol carbonate can be said to be derived from CO2. This approach can be used for the syntheses of other cyclic carbonates as well.Zum Volltext