Press Releases

2016.11.29

Approaching the Limit of Zeolite Crystallization: Continuous Flow Synthesis of ZSM-5 on the Order of Seconds : Associate Professor Toru Wakihara , Professor Tatsuya Okubo, Department of Chemical System Engineering.

The hydrothermal synthesis of zeolites carried out in batch reactors takes a time so long (typically, on the order of days) that the crystallization of zeolites has long been believed to be very slow in nature. We herein present a synthetic process for ZSM-5, an industrially important zeolite, on the order of seconds in a continuous flow reactor using pressurized hot water as a heating medium. Direct mixing of a well-tuned precursor (90 °C) with the pressurized water preheated to extremely high temperature (370 °C) in the millimeter-sized continuous flow reactor resulted in immediate heating to high temperatures (240–300 °C); consequently, the crystallization of ZSM-5 in a seed-free system proceeded to completion within tens of or even several seconds. These results indicate that the crystallization of zeolites can complete in a period on the order of seconds. The subtle design combining a continuous flow reactor with pressurized hot water can greatly facilitate the mass production of zeolites in the future.

 

PNAS URL: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2016/11/23/1615872113