Many of the properties of DMC make it a genuinely green reagent, particularly if compared to conventional alkylating agents such as methyl halides (CH3X) and DMS or to phosgene used as a methoxycarbonylating reagent.
1. First of all, DMC is a nontoxic compound:6 since the middle 1980s, in fact, it has not been produced from phosgene, but by catalytic oxidative carbonylation of methanol with oxygen through a process developed by Enichem (Italy)7 and UBE Industries (Japan) (Scheme 4.3):8
In addition to improving procedural safety, this method of producing DMC avoids contamination from phosgene, and eliminates the need to dispose of by-product inorganic salts.
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