ZSM-5 zeolite crystals with secondary mesopores were synthesized by alkaline desilication and surfactant-induced re-assembly of dissolved species (i.e., silicates, aluminosilicates and zeolite crystal fragments) originating from the parent ZSM-5 crystals. The meso-zeolite products exhibit a dual-mesopore structure in which the smaller mesopores (ca. 3 nm) are attributed to surfactant-induced micelle formation involving dissolved species, and larger mesopores (ca. 10-30 nm) result from desilication processes occurring under the alkaline reaction conditions. The external surface area (i.e., the surface area due to mesopores, macropores and the external particle surface) of the meso-zeolite materials depends on the Si/Al ratio, the hydroxide concentration and the presence of surfactant, and it reaches values as high as 327 m 2 g-1 when a surfactant is used. The crystallinity of the highest surface-area meso-zeolite is well preserved, maintaining values of ca. 83% (on the basis of micropore volume) or ca. 77% (on the basis of X-ray diffraction intensities) of the parent zeolite structures. Further physicochemical characterization by 27Al and 29Si magic-angle-spinning solid-state NMR spectroscopy, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, temperature-programmed ammonia desorption measurements, and inductively coupled plasma elementary analysis support the hypothesis that re-assembly of dissolved species of zeolite crystals occurred by surfactant-induced micellization, resulting in the high external surface area of the meso-zeolite materials.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials