A novel method for the direct synthesis of diphenyl carbonate (DPC) from carbon dioxide and phenol catalyzed by Lewis acid in the presence of methanol was developed. It was found that the simple Lewis acids are not effective for catalyzing the production of DPC, but (salen)Co(OAc) containing a quaternary phosphonium salt unit anchored on the ligand displayed excellent catalytic activity under mild conditions using dense carbon dioxide as reactant and solvent. A possible mechanism for the formation of DPC was proposed based on the GC-MS analysis and DFT calculation.

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