A high-throughput combinatorial strategy enabled us to find a highly active organic–inorganic hybrid catalyst for the production of cyclic carbonates from CO2 and epoxides. The best hybrid catalyst 1a was prepared by the coupling of 3-(triethoxysilyl)propyltriphenylphosphonium bromide and mesoporous silica, and the organic and inorganic moieties had a synergistic effect on catalytic activity. The pore size of silica was found to be important for catalysis; mesoporous silica with the mean pore size of 19 nm exhibited much better performance than silica with that of 6 nm. The solvent-free and metal-free reactions proceeded successfully under very mild conditions (1 MPa, 90 °C, 1 mol% loading of catalyst, 6 h), and the hybrid catalyst could be recycled ten times.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry