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Towards a Sustainable Synthesis of Oxymethylene Dimethyl Ether by Homogeneous Catalysis and Uptake of Molecular Formaldehyde

: Peter, A.; Fehr, S.M.; Dybbert, V.; Himmel, D.; Lindner, I.; Jacob, E.; Ouda, M.; Schaadt, A.; White, R.J.; Scherer, H.; Krossing, I.


Angewandte Chemie. International edition 57 (2018), No.30, pp.9461-9464
ISSN: 1433-7851
ISSN: 0044-8249
ISSN: 0570-0833
ISSN: 1521-3773
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISE ()

Oxymethylene dimethyl ethers (OMEn; CH3(‐OCH2‐)nO‐CH3, n=3–5) are a novel class of sustainable synthetic fuels, which are of increasing interest due to their soot‐free combustion. Herein a novel anhydrous OMEn synthesis route is presented. Catalyzed by trimethyloxonium salts, dimethoxymethane takes up monomeric gaseous formaldehyde instantaneously and forms high purity OMEn at temperatures of 25–30 °C. This new anhydrous approach using molecular formaldehyde and catalytic amounts of highly active trimethyloxonium salts represents a promising new step towards a sustainable formation of OMEn emanating from CO2 and H2.