“Zeolites” might be an unknown word to many non-scientists, but its meaning is everywhere around us: when we wash our clothes, drive a car or walk in the streets. They are used in many processes, such as the production of petrol, detergents or concrete. They are inorganic porous material with a highly regular structure of channels and pores that allow some molecules to pass through, and cause others to be either excluded, or broken down.
In nature, they are made of volcanic rock, but industry has been synthesizing them for many years. In industry they are formed from a gel and only become (catalysts) or porous solids when templates are used to direct the formation of a structure. If organic bases (chemical compounds which can neutralize an acid) are added to the reaction, new structures can be formed, but the way this happens is not well understood. A deeper knowledge of this process would enable better catalysts to be made.
In order to get new insight on this process, the team of researchers from The Netherlands, United Kingdom and the ESRF monitored the synthesis of zeolites with organic bases in real time. They added zinc to the original gel because it promotes the formation of zeolites at low temperatures. They realized that this element influenced the template of the zeolite and the crystallization process . The results suggest that molecular organization of the zeolites occurs before crystallization, therefore, before the formation of zeolite crystals.
The time-resolved experiments at the ESRF took place on a specially developed set up, and combined three different techniques, namely X-ray absorption spectroscopy and small and wide angle diffraction. They complemented these with additional data using Raman spectroscopy. “We could look at each aspect of the crystallization process for the first time ever”, explains Andrew Beale, one of the researchers, from Utrecht University (The Netherlands).
The new results may not have an immediate repercussion among industrial zeolite manufacturers, but they provide a new vision on these materials for the academic community. The outcome of this research was published in two papers in the Journal of American Chemical Society and has been recently reported in Nature. “These results are highly relevant to the debate on the mechanism of zeolite formation”, asserts Rutger A. Van Santen, a scientist from the Schuit Institute of Catalysis (The Netherlands), in the Nature article.
Montserrat Capellas | alfa
Seeing the quantum future... literally
16.01.2017 | University of Sydney
Airborne thermometer to measure Arctic temperatures
11.01.2017 | Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration
"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...
Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.
Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
16.01.2017 | Information Technology
16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering