Synthesis of glycerol carbonate over a 2D coordination polymer built with Nd3+ ions and organic ligands†
In this work, a two-dimensional coordination polymer was synthesized and the structure was determined by single-crystal X-ray diffraction. The crystal structure belongs to the space group Pna21 and was characterized by Raman and FT-infrared spectroscopy, powder X-ray diffraction and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller surface area analysis. Catalyst activities were evaluated through the synthesis of glycerol carbonate from glycerol and urea using a batch reactor. After the optimization of both reaction and reaction conditions, the activity results showed that the coordination polymer used as a heterogeneous catalyst has good values of conversions and selectivity for the manufacturing of glycerol carbonate in a fine-chemical process. The analysis of powder X-ray diffraction and spectroscopy for the coordination polymer employed, before and after the reaction, shows that some changes have taken place in the crystal structure during the process, in spite of a recovery at the end of the reaction. The advantages and limitations of the coordination polymer were discussed and compared with those of the previous heterogeneous catalysts in the literature.