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Reducing the Cost of Production of Bimetallic Aluminium Catalysts for the Synthesis of Cyclic Carbonates

Authors

  • Prof. Michael North,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Chemistry and University Research Centre for Catalysis and Intensified Processing, Newcastle University, Bedson Building, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK, Fax: (+44) 191 222 6929
    • School of Chemistry and University Research Centre for Catalysis and Intensified Processing, Newcastle University, Bedson Building, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK, Fax: (+44) 191 222 6929
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  • Dr. Carl Young

    1. School of Chemistry and University Research Centre for Catalysis and Intensified Processing, Newcastle University, Bedson Building, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK, Fax: (+44) 191 222 6929
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Abstract

Bimetallic aluminium complexes of general formula [(salen)Al]2O or [(acen)Al]2O catalyse the formation of cyclic carbonates from carbon dioxide and terminal epoxides under exceptionally mild reaction conditions. To improve the potential for industrial scale application of these catalysts, the cost of their production has been evaluated and reduced significantly by optimization of the synthesis, including replacement of the most expensive chemicals by less expensive alternatives. The largest cost saving was associated with the formation of aluminium triethoxide in situ, which reduced the cost of the chemicals need for production of the catalysts by 49–87 %. Further savings were made by avoiding the use of tetrabutylammonium bromide and acetonitrile, resulting in overall cost savings of 68–93 %.

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