The hierarchization of zeolites to overcome the major drawbacks related to molecular diffusion limitation in micropores is a popular concept in heterogeneous catalysis. Despite the constant increase of new synthesis strategies to produce such hierarchical systems, the deep knowledge of their structural arrangement and how the zeolitic lattice is organized in a multilevel porous system is often missing. This information is essential to design a structure, tuning the porosity and the distribution of easily accessible active sites, and successively controlling the catalytic properties. In the present work, the synthesis of one of the most sophisticated forms of the hierarchical ZSM-5 zeolite has been reproduced, obtaining two multilevel porous materials with different crystallinity degrees, with the final aim of investigating and clarifying the finest features of their active sites. For this purpose, an extended characterization step by means of a unique multitechnique approach has been performed, thus revealing the active site nature, abundance, and distribution. IR spectroscopy with different molecular probes and a targeted catalytic test based on the hydroconversion reaction of n-decane were the toolbox for disclosing how the MFI lattice takes part in the hierarchical structure and how it, working in synergy with the mesoporous system, confers to this material a totally new shape-size selectivity. Merging the information obtained for the synthesized hierarchical zeolite with the characterization results of two reference materials (a mesoporous aluminum-containing MCM-41 and a microporous commercial ZSM-5), it was possible to define an internal and external map of the pore network of this complex and unique molecular sieve, where strong Bronsted acidic sites are located at the mouth of the MFI micropores and, at the same time, exposed at the surface of the mesoporous channels. Hence, the possibility of easily releasing bulky products is ensured and the application possibilities of the MFI lattice are expanded beyond cracking reactions.

Insights on a Hierarchical MFI Zeolite: A Combined Spectroscopic and Catalytic Approach for Exploring the Multilevel Porous System down to the Active Sites / Airi, A.; Signorile, M.; Bonino, F.; Quagliotto, P.; Bordiga, S.; Martens, J. A.; Crocell(\`a), V.. - In: ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES. - ISSN 1944-8252. - 13:41(2021). [10.1021/acsami.1c11614]

Insights on a Hierarchical MFI Zeolite: A Combined Spectroscopic and Catalytic Approach for Exploring the Multilevel Porous System down to the Active Sites

Airi, A.;
2021

Abstract

The hierarchization of zeolites to overcome the major drawbacks related to molecular diffusion limitation in micropores is a popular concept in heterogeneous catalysis. Despite the constant increase of new synthesis strategies to produce such hierarchical systems, the deep knowledge of their structural arrangement and how the zeolitic lattice is organized in a multilevel porous system is often missing. This information is essential to design a structure, tuning the porosity and the distribution of easily accessible active sites, and successively controlling the catalytic properties. In the present work, the synthesis of one of the most sophisticated forms of the hierarchical ZSM-5 zeolite has been reproduced, obtaining two multilevel porous materials with different crystallinity degrees, with the final aim of investigating and clarifying the finest features of their active sites. For this purpose, an extended characterization step by means of a unique multitechnique approach has been performed, thus revealing the active site nature, abundance, and distribution. IR spectroscopy with different molecular probes and a targeted catalytic test based on the hydroconversion reaction of n-decane were the toolbox for disclosing how the MFI lattice takes part in the hierarchical structure and how it, working in synergy with the mesoporous system, confers to this material a totally new shape-size selectivity. Merging the information obtained for the synthesized hierarchical zeolite with the characterization results of two reference materials (a mesoporous aluminum-containing MCM-41 and a microporous commercial ZSM-5), it was possible to define an internal and external map of the pore network of this complex and unique molecular sieve, where strong Bronsted acidic sites are located at the mouth of the MFI micropores and, at the same time, exposed at the surface of the mesoporous channels. Hence, the possibility of easily releasing bulky products is ensured and the application possibilities of the MFI lattice are expanded beyond cracking reactions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11696/80539
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