Reaction Kinetics, Mechanisms and Catalysis

, Volume 99, Issue 2, pp 381–389 | Cite as

Reaction of zinc oxide with urea and its role in urea methanolysis

  • Hui Wang
  • Mouhua Wang
  • Wenbo Zhao
  • Wei Wei
  • Yuhan Sun


The reaction of urea with ZnO was investigated by FTIR and TPD. It was found that urea was thermally decomposed into isocyanic acid on ZnO, and the adsorbed isocyanic acid reacted with ZnO to form zinc isocyanate. Catalytic evaluation showed that ZnO had high activity towards urea methanolysis in a batch reactor, and zinc element and isocyanate were all detected in the product solution. Furthermore, the soluble zinc content was proportional to the DMC yield. Sample analyses suggested that the soluble zinc existed in the form of Zn(NCO)2(NH3)2, which originated from the reaction of ZnO with urea. It was the complex (not ZnO) that catalyzed the urea methanolysis. Based on these observations, a possible mechanism was suggested.


Dimethyl carbonate Urea Methanol ZnO FTIR 


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hui Wang
    • 1
    • 3
  • Mouhua Wang
    • 2
    • 3
  • Wenbo Zhao
    • 3
  • Wei Wei
    • 3
  • Yuhan Sun
    • 3
  1. 1.Green Chemical Engineering and Energy (GCEE) Research CenterShanghai UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Shanghai Institute of Applied PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Coal Conversion, Institute of Coal ChemistryChinese Academy of SciencesTaiyuanPeople’s Republic of China

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