Styrene polymerization efficiently catalyzed by iron-containing imidazolium-based ionic liquids: Reaction mechanism and enhanced ionic liquid effect
•Enhanced ionic liquid effect for the styrene polymerization reaction•Mechanistic evaluation probed by ESI-MS(/MS)•Metal-containing ionic liquids as superior catalysts
Iron-containing imidazolium-based ionic liquids were successfully applied as catalysts in the styrene polymerization. Solventless conditions, organic solvents and different imidazolium-based ionic liquid catalysts were tested to evaluate the best reaction conditions. The ionic liquids BMI.FeCl4 and BMI.Fe2Cl7 showed very distinct catalytic activities. Schulz–Flory distributions indicate two or three active catalytic species in different distributions. Via on-line direct infusion electrospray (tandem) mass spectrometry (ESI-MS(/MS)) reaction monitoring, both active catalytic species in accordance with the Schulz–Flory distributions were intercepted and characterized, providing important mechanistic insights that allowed us to propose a rationale for the origin of the superior catalytic efficiency.
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Journal: Catalysis Communications - Volume 63, 10 March 2015, Pages 66–73