1,2,3-Trimethoxypropane (2), 1-alkoxy-2,3-dimethoxy-propanes, and 1-aryloxy-2,3-dimethoxypropanes were prepared in good yields and selectivity by solid–liquid phase-transfer catalysis in the presence of an inorganic base and an ammonium salt as the phase-transfer catalyst with no additional solvent. No heating was required, and the synthesis was easily performed under atmospheric pressure on a 150 g scale. For the preparation of 2, the conversion of glycerol was complete and the selectivity for the expected glycerol trimethylether was above 95 %. This product was utilized as a solvent in organic reactions such as transesterifications between glycerol and vegetable oil, organometallic reactions (Grignard- and Barbier-type reactions), carbon–carbon coupling reactions (Suzuki, Sonogashira, Heck), and in etherification reactions by dehydrogenative alkylation. The solvent showed interesting properties for the solubilization of polymers.
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