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Chemical Equilibrium Controlled Etching of MFI-Type Zeolite and Its Influence on Zeolite Structure, Acidity, and Catalytic Activity

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-02-19, 02:54 authored by Z. Qin, L. Lakiss, J.-P. Gilson, K. Thomas, J.-M. Goupil, C. Fernandez, V. Valtchev
Chemical etching with fluoride ions is a new approach for secondary porosity engineering of aluminosilicate zeolite frameworks. We show that diluted HF solutions extract preferentially aluminum from zeolite frameworks. The Brønsted acidity of ZSM-5 treated in such a way decreases, while its structure is unaffected after an HF treatment. With higher HF concentrations, the number of undissociated HF molecules and the concentration of HF2 ions, extracting indiscriminately Al and Si, increase. The addition of NH4F shifts the chemical equilibria to produce more HF2, avoiding the use of highly concentrated HF solutions; it also suppresses HF dissociation. The etching selectivity of such solutions is concentration-independent and extracts indiscriminately both framework Si and Al. Zeolite dissolution in NH4F-HF solutions starts preferentially at small intergrowth domains and goes deeply in the crystals without a substantial increase of the external surface area. Macropores are produced without altering zeolite acidity. Hierarchical materials obtained by these two approaches are characterized extensively by complementary methods and the catalytic impact illustrated in the m-xylene conversion.