Fastest Synthesis of a Zeolite

Fastest Synthesis of a Zeolite

Author: Andrew Hagan

The metal-exchanged zeolite SSZ-13 has important applications, including the ammonia selective catalytic reduction (NH3-SCR) to reduce NOx emissions from diesel engines, the methanol-to-olefins reaction, and the direct conversion of ethylene to propylene. However, two major bottlenecks obstructing its wider application are the long synthesis time needed to obtain high-quality SSZ-13 and its thermodynamically metastable nature.

Tatsuya Okubo and colleagues at the University of Tokyo and Mitsubishi Chemical Group, Yokohama, Japan, used fast heating in a tubular reactor to avoid thermal lag, addition of an SSZ-13 seed to promote formation of the desired zeolite phase, and the appropriate choice of aluminum source to establish an ultrafast synthesis of SSZ-13. High-quality SSZ-13 could be obtained in ten minutes, compared to the several days typically required, allowing a continuous-flow reactor to be developed.

After copper-ion exchange, the researchers examined the performance of the fast-synthesized SSZ-13 in the removal of nitrogen oxides through the NH3-SCR, and found it to exhibit comparable catalytic performance to the zeolite synthesized by standard techniques.


The fastest synthesis of a zeolite (10 min) was reported for the high-silica zeolite SSZ-13, using a tubular reactor, addition of an SSZ-13 seed, appropriate choice of aluminum source, and high temperature.

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