N° 393-394 février-mars 2015

Unraveling the importance of zeolite crystal morphology

Pagination : 108-112
Rubrique : Recherche et développement
Sous-rubrique : Prix de la division Catalyse

SEM micrograph of a double crystallization mode of a ZSM-5 zeolite by addition of xylose.

The design and control of chemical systems over multiple-length scales ranging from the molecule to the crystal represent one of the greatest challenges in science. The ability to understand how molecules organize to build superstructures which exhibit tailored properties is of prime importance. Zeolites are microporous crystalline aluminosilicates being both used in main petrochemical processes (cracking, alkylation, acylation, isomerization) and as a confinement medium for metal cations to perform bifunctional catalysis.

The rational design of these inorganic polymers with highly crystalline structure is warranted to achieve a proper chemical composition, an appropriate crystal size and assembly along with hierarchical porosity. The challenges consist of properly tailoring zeolite catalytic properties (acidity, metal doping, particle size) for a targeted application and, if possible, predict their reactivity.

Benoît Louis was attributed the "Prix de la Division Catalyse" of the Chemical French Society in 2013.