UCL Centre for Nature Inspired Engineering


Controlling surface barriers in zeolite catalysis (new article in Angewandte Chemie)

19 May 2021

Our new article on the "Effect of External Surface Diffusion Barriers on Platinum/Beta-Catalyzed Isomerization of n-Pentane" has just appeared, open access, in a leading chemistry journal, Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

Ye Coppens Angew Chem 2021

You can access the article here.

Nanoporous, crystalline zeolites are used as catalysts in numerous energy, environmental and chemical manufacturing processes. Because of the molecular-sized pores, diffusion limitations are common. However, it has recently become clear that molecular transport limitations do not only occur inside the zeolite crystals or in the pore channel network of catalyst pellets containing them. The transport limiting step could be crystal surface barriers (like a skin!).

In this new article, we show how it is possible to reduce these surface barriers, via a thin layer of silica deposition that alters the "skin" properties, facilitating transport. This leads to a significant increase in observed catalytic activity, shown here for isomerization of n-pentane as a test reaction. This work is the result of another excellent collaboration with CNIE alumnus and ECUST (Shanghai) Associate Professor Guanghua Ye and long-time collaborator Professor Xinggui Zhou. Special congratulations to PhD student, Shen Hu.



Reference: S. Hu, J. Liu, G. Ye*, X. Zhou, M.-O. Coppens* and W. Yuan, 2021, Effect of External Surface Diffusion Barriers on Platinum/Beta‐Catalyzed Isomerization of n‐Pentane. Angew. Chemie Int. Ed. 60. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/anie.202104859