A series of polyethylene glycol (PEG)-functionalized basic ionic liquids (ILs) were developed for efficient CO2 conversion into organic carbonates under mild conditions. In particular, BrTBDPEG150TBDBr was proven to be a highly efficient and recyclable catalyst for the synthesis of cyclic carbonates without utilization of any organic solvents or additives. This is presumably due to the activation of epoxide assisted by hydrogen bonding and activation of CO2 by the ether linkage in the PEG backbone or through the formation of carbamate species with the secondary amino group in the IL cation on the basis of in situFT-IR study under CO2 pressure. In addition, the subsequent transesterification of cyclic carbonatee.g.ethylenecarbonate (EC) with methanol to dimethyl carbonate (DMC) can also be effectively catalyzed by BrTBDPEG150TBDBr, thanks to the activation of methanol by the secondary and tertiary nitrogen in the IL to easily form CH3O−, realizing a so-called “one-pot two-stage” access to DMC from CO2 without separation of cyclic carbonate by using one kind of single component catalyst. Therefore, this protocol represents a highly efficient and environmentally friendly example for catalytic conversion of CO2 into value-added chemicals such as DMC by employing PEG-functionalized basic ILs as catalysts.
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