(47c) Sylilated Hydrophobic Zeolites With Enhanced Tolerance to Hot Liquid Water
AIChE Annual Meeting
Monday, November 4, 2013 - 9:10am to 9:30am
Untreated USY zeolites have low tolerance to hot liquid water, which makes them unsuitable for upgrading of biomass-derived liquid in biphasic systems. However, the stability of USY zeolites can be greatly improved by functionalizing their external surface with organosilanes. Here, the structural stability of a commercial H-USY zeolite ((Si/Al = 30) in the presence of hot liquid water has been investigated after functionalization with organosilanes of varying alkyl chain length (C2-C18). The structural tolerance of various samples has been compared upon exposure to liquid reaction media (in biphasic emulsion) at 200ºC. At the same time, crystallinity changes have been monitored after exposure to increasing partial pressures of pure water vapor until a liquid phase is formed. The losses in crystallinity, surface area, and microporosity have been quantified by N2 physisorption, X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), and infrared spectroscopy (DRIFTS). It is shown that the rate of collapse of the crystalline structure is not determined by the chemical potential of the water molecule inside the zeolite, but rather by the presence of a liquid aqueous phase, which favors dissolution and mobility of ions. Therefore, the zeolite deconstruction under hot liquid water can be described as a phenomenon more similar to the recrystallization that occurs under synthesis conditions than a chemical attack, which explains the stability improvement obtained upon hydrophobization. The activity losses as a function of time in the presence of water have been evaluated by using the alkylation of m-cresol in a liquid biphasic system as a probe reaction, which is relevant to biomass conversion processes.
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