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Process for the preparation of organic carbonates

Carbonati organiciChimica verdeGreen chemistryOrganic carbonatePCCPirocatecolcarbonatoPyrocatecholcarbonate


The invention relates to a new process for the preparation of organic carbonates, easily applicable also on industrial scale.
Organic carbonates are among the most promising green candidates for the replacement of conventional noxious solvents and fuel additives as well as for the development of innovative intermediates in the pharma, lubricant and polymer industries.

Technical features

The process object of the invention uses pyrocatecholcarbonate (PCC) as a reagent for the efficient and selective synthesis of organic carbonates.
PCC is used as a reagent of trans carbonation with saturated or unsaturated aliphatic alcohols, for the preparation of the corresponding organic carbonates both cyclic and linear, symmetric and asymmetric.
The new procedure overcomes the problems of the prior art, especially as regards as the toxicity of the reagents and the difficulty of management thereof, allowing the realization of an easily applicable process also on industrial scale. The overall process can provide also for the optimized synthesis of the PCC starting from catechol and DMC.

Possible Applications

  • Preparation of monomers, polymers, surfactants, plasticizers and crosslinking agents;
  • Candidates for replacing conventional harmful solvents and fuel additives;
  • Intermediate products in the pharmaceutical industry.


  • Milder reaction conditions (in terms of temperatures, reaction times and stoichiometric ratios between reactants);
  • Catalytic amount of a base;
  • High yields;
  • High selectivity;
  • Limited costs and production of waste.