Synthesis of Modenite Nanosheets Less Than 1 uM Using Multiple Organics for Chemical Separations and Polymer Production
Increasing industrial demand for nanosized zeolite catalysts has created a need to develop novel synthesis approaches of tailoring crystal properties. Synthetic modernite is a zeolite mineral used as reation catalyst and molecular sieve in petrochemical industry. Conventional MOR crystals are typically larger than 5µm. and are difficulty to synthesize with sizes < 1 µm. Larger MOR crystals with reduced size, higher Si/Al ratio, less occluded organics in the final product, and a longer industrial catalyst lifetimes.
  • Commercial Catalyst in reactions of 
    1. Dehydration of alcohols to olefins
    2. Oxidation of methane to methanol
    3. Hydroisomerization 
    4. Alkylation and 
    5. Carbonylation 
  • Applications as absorbent for oil/chemical spills, animal wastes. water treatment and slow release fertilizer
  • Selective separations grow thin membranes for enhanced seeded growth where thin, high aspect ratio crystals are ideal
Problems Addressed
  • Large crystals are subject to rapid coking and catalyst deactivation
  • Conventional MOR crystals tend to have defects (e.g. stacking faults) that can hinder internal diffusion and reduce catalyst performance
  • This invention leads to less defective crystals, which impacts their use as catalysts and sieves for selective separations
Competitive Advantages
  • MOR crystals are difficult to synthesize with sizes < 1mm
  • MOR cyrstals are particularly sensitive to coking owing to their large pore size and 1-dimensional channels (i.e. internal diffusion is highly restricted)
  • Thin nanosheet prevents carbon fouling yielding selective molecular sieve performance for polymer production
  • The unique high aspect ratio shape of nanosheets permits their use in diverse applications, such as seeds for the synthesis of membranes
  • US 62/672,291
Case ID
Dr. Jeff Rimer
Professor, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering