Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cut-and-paste zeolites: new, faster method for developing custom microporous materials

23.11.2012
Zeolites are minerals with a microporous structure. This makes them attractive as catalysts in industrial applications.

Unfortunately, creating synthetic zeolites is very complex. Researchers at KU Leuven, Ghent University and the University of Antwerp have discovered a way to make new zeolites quickly. “The method is faster than existing methods and contributes to the development of a more sustainable, greener chemical industry," says KU Leuven Professor Christine Kirschhock.

Zeolites are best known for their ubiquitous use as water softeners in detergents and as catalysts in industry. A catalyst is a mediator that increases the efficiency of chemical reactions, saving huge amounts of energy. Zeolites are robust and reusable – making them environmentally friendly catalysts.

There are various types of zeolites, each with their own specific structure and porous make-up. Naturally-occurring zeolites are often unsuitable for industrial applications because their pores are small. Developing synthetic zeolites, however, is very complex and often a matter of trial and error.

Around 200 different synthetic zeolites currently exist, of which only 20 are actually used in industry. The desired properties of the zeolite – its composition, pore size, reusability and so on – change with each new application. Until now, designing a zeolite with predetermined characteristics was impossible.

Researchers from Leuven, Ghent and Antwerp have now experimentally demonstrated that it is possible to cut zeolite building blocks and rearrange them into a new structure. Professor Christine Kirschhock of KU Leuven explains: “A zeolite can be thought of as a set of merged building blocks. We are now able to separate certain blocks of a zeolite and then reassemble them into different configurations, depending on the desired properties.”

This generic method for creating new zeolites has significant advantages: “In addition to new possibilities for applications, the method contributes to the development of a more sustainable, greener chemical industry. It is the first-ever example of customizable zeolite design.”

The findings were recently published online in the journal Nature Materials.
Contacts:
• Professor Christine Kirschhock, KU Leuven, Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis, christine.kirschhock@biw.kuleuven.be, tel. +32 (0) 16 32 16 10

• Professor Veronique Van Speybroeck, Ghent University, Centre for Molecular Modelling, veronique.vanspeybroeck@ugent.be, tel. +32 (0) 92 64 65 58

• Professor Gustaaf Van Tendeloo, University of Antwerp, EMA, staf.vantendeloo@ua.ac.be, tel. +32 (0) 32 65 32 62

More information:
The full text of the study “Design of zeolite by inverse sigma transformation” is available on the website of Nature: http://www.nature.com/nmat/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nmat3455.html.

An online version of this press release, with accompanying images and captions, is available at: http://www.kuleuven.be/english/news/cut-and-paste-zeolites

| KU Leuven
Further information:
http://www.nature.com/nmat/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nmat3455.html
http://www.kuleuven.be/english/news/cut-and-paste-zeolites

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Barely scratching the surface: A new way to make robust membranes
13.12.2018 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

nachricht Topological material switched off and on for the first time
11.12.2018 | ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low-Energy Electronics Technologies

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

UNLV study unlocks clues to how planets form

13.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Live from the ocean research vessel Atlantis

13.12.2018 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researcher deciphers flows that help bacteria feed and organize biofilms

13.12.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>