A green route to polyurethanes: oxidative carbonylation of industrially relevant aromatic diamines by CO2-based methyl formate†
The oxidative carbonylation of toluene-2,4-diamine (TDA) with methyl formate (MF), which can be produced from CO2, provides a possible route for the non-phosgene production of isocyanate precursors and enables a valuable utilization of the greenhouse gas. Extensive analysis of the product spectrum has provided detailed insight into the reaction network leading to the target product toluene-2,4-dicarbamate (TDC) and the most important side products. The most prominent one has been identified as methylene-bridged tetracarbamate 5, which is also an interesting precursor for applications in polyurethane chemistry. The side products are caused by three different reaction paths: N-formylation by MF, condensation with in situ formed formaldehyde, and N-methylation by in situ formed dimethyl carbonate (DMC). The influence of the catalyst on product distribution was evaluated for PdCl2/CuCl2 and a large number of heterogeneous Pd-catalysts. The oxidic support materials ZrO2, CeO2 and SiO2 were found to partially suppress the undesired side reactions leading to higher yields of TDC and tetracarbamate 5. The ratio of TDC to 5 was demonstrated to be affected significantly by the choice of the support. The synthetic protocol was extended to the synthesis of dicarbamates from 4,4′-methylenedianiline (MDA) and 2,4-diaminomesitylene (17). These results encourage further investigations into the design of selective catalysts for the production of isocyanate precursors from CO2 as a C1 source.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2020 Green Chemistry Hot Articles