Mixed Organic Carbonates

Asymmetrical alkyl methyl carbonates of the general formula ROCO2CH| can be conceived as selective methylating agents since their reactivity is discriminated by the structure and the length of the alkyl chain R. Also, it is the R group that imparts a practical advantage to the synthetic procedure: if heavy enough, it raises the boiling point of the carbonate, so that methylation reactions are allowed at ambient pressure. This overcomes one of the major operative drawbacks of batch methylations with DMC, that is, the need of pressure vessels. This idea was developed recently by our group in the investigation of the O-methylation of phenols (Scheme 4.23).43 Some results are reported in Table 4.8.

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