Optimization of the Synthesis of Glycerol Derived Monoethers from Glycidol by Means of Heterogeneous Acid Catalysis

Molecules. 2018 Nov 6;23(11):2887. doi: 10.3390/molecules23112887.


We present an efficient and green methodology for the synthesis of glycerol monoethers, starting from glycidol and different alcohols, by means of heterogeneous acid catalysis. A scope of Brønsted and Lewis acid catalysts were applied to the benchmark reaction of glycidol and methanol. The selected catalysts were cationic exchangers, such as Nafion NR50, Dowex 50WX2, Amberlyst 15 and K10-Montmorillonite, both in their protonic form and exchanged with Al(III), Zn(II) and Fe(III). Thus, total conversions were reached in short times by using 1 and 5% mol catalyst loading and room temperature, without the need for excess glycidol or the presence of a solvent. Finally, these conditions and the best catalysts were successfully applied to the reaction of glycidol with several alcohols such as butanol or isopropanol.

Keywords: Bronsted acid; Lewis acid; acid catalyst; glycerol; glycerol ether; glycidol; green solvent; heterogeneous catalysis.

MeSH terms

  • Acids / chemistry*
  • Catalysis
  • Epoxy Compounds / chemical synthesis*
  • Epoxy Compounds / chemistry
  • Glycerol / chemical synthesis*
  • Glycerol / chemistry
  • Propanols / chemical synthesis*
  • Propanols / chemistry
  • Solvents / chemistry*


  • Acids
  • Epoxy Compounds
  • Propanols
  • Solvents
  • Glycerol
  • glycidol