Adsorption/diffusion interplay in hierarchical zeolites : understanding the role of external surface and additional porosity

Abstract : The performance of xylene separation processes using nanoporous adsorbents is related to both the transport and selectivity properties of the used faujasite zeolites (BaX). Conventional zeolites exhibit a large volume of micropores and a good selectivity to paraxylene (px). However, intracrystalline diffusion is a slow process which limits the efficiency of the zeolites. Therefore, the use of hierarchical zeolites has been proposed as an alternative to improve transport properties by the introduction of an additional porous network. In this thesis, two types of BaX hierarchical zeolites are considered: Nanoparticles aggregates (NA - aggregates of small particles with mesopores between them) and Layer-like zeolite (LL - array of zeolite layers, with the presence of inter and intra-layers mesopores). In order to better understand the role played by the external surface and by the additional porosity in hierarchical zeolites (NA and LL), these zeolites were characterized in terms of quantity and quality of the external surface by the application of different characterization techniques (X-ray diffraction, N2 adsorption, porosimetry, microscopy, infrared and nuclear magnetic resonance). The xylene adsorption and diffusion were evaluated in gas and liquid phase, by means of thermogravimetry and batch experiments, respectively. Through the experiments in liquid phase, it is noticed that the xylene diffusion in hierarchical zeolites is considerably improved. On the other hand, a significant loss in px-selectivity in hierarchical BaX zeolites is observed compared to conventional BaX zeolites. The study of diffusion in gas phase allowed the identification of surface barriers, which are not present in the liquid phase. This may be an indication that, when the concentration around the surface is large (liquid phase), the passage of molecules across the surface is less/not disturbed. This reinforces the interest of using hierarchical zeolite for xylene separation which is carried out in liquid phase
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Izabel Cristina Medeiros Costa. Adsorption/diffusion interplay in hierarchical zeolites : understanding the role of external surface and additional porosity. Other. Université de Lyon, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019LYSE1022⟩. ⟨tel-02168674v2⟩

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