Direct Conversion of Methanol Into Dimethoxymethane and Methyl Formate by Controlled Oxidation. Mechanistic Aspects
Advanced Chemistry Letters
, E-ISSN: 2326-7488
Boreskov Institute of Catalysis SB RAS
Catalytic oxidation of methanol with molecular oxygen can lead to a convenient, one-stage formation of dimethoxymethane and methyl formate, which are regarded as valuable products of C1-based chemistry. Production of these derivatives instead of more expected parent compounds, such as formaldehyde and formic acid, is usually explained by combination of methanol oxidation and acid-catalyzed acetalization (esterification) of the in situ produced formaldehyde (formic acid). However, the mechanistic aspects of these important transformations remain unclear thus far. The paper includes brief overview on methanol selective oxidation to dimethoxymethane and methyl formate and focuses on possible reaction pathways for their formation. The proposed mechanism of the reaction involves intermediacy of semi-organic acetals and esters, readily reactive with water and methanol. This gives a plausible explanation for predominant selectivity toward formaldehyde, formic acid, dimethoxymethane and methyl formate depending on reaction conditions.