ACS Omega. 2022 Aug 29;7(36):31778-31788. doi: 10.1021/acsomega.2c02381. eCollection 2022 Sep 13.
This paper reports the facile one-pot synthesis of glycidol via the transesterification of glycerol with dimethyl carbonate using KNO3/Al2O3 nanoparticles as supporting catalysts. KNO3/Al2O3 nanoparticles were prepared by the impregnation method. XRD and FT-IR analyses indicated an interaction between KNO3 and Al2O3 that enabled the decomposition of KNO3 during the process and resulted in the formation of KAl5O8, the Al-O-K group, and K2O. K2O was recognized as one of the active sites of the catalyst. SEM results indicated the high performance of the supporting catalyst, as the catalytic activity depended on both the number of catalytic active sites and their distribution. The yield of glycidol was 64% at the expense of 95% glycerol under moderate reaction conditions (120 min, 1 atm, and 70 °C). The nanocatalyst prepared at 800 °C with a loading amount of 30% KNO3 was the most efficient for the synthesis of glycidol. Furthermore, the catalyst was recovered and reused without a loss of efficiency even after the fourth recycling. A plausible mechanism for the one-pot synthesis of glycidol has also been proposed.