Cerium-Based Binary and Ternary Oxides in the Transesterification of Dimethylcarbonate with Phenol



Diphenyl carbonate (DPC) plays a key role in phosgene-free carbonylation processes. It can be produced by transesterification of dimethyl carbonate (DMC) with phenol in the presence of catalysts. Methyl phenyl carbonate (MPC) is first produced that is then converted into DPC by either disproportionation or further transesterification with phenol. Cerium-based bimetallic oxides (with the heterometal being niobium, iron, palladium, or aluminum) are used as catalysts in the transesterification of DMC to synthesize MPC. The catalytic activity is affected by the type and concentration of the heterometal. XPS, IR and elementary analyses are employed to characterize the new catalysts. Differently from pure oxides, the mixed oxides produce a significant increase of the conversion and selectivity towards MPC.