V. Van Speybroeck

Efficient Approach for the Computational Study of Alcohol and Nitrile Adsorption in H-ZSM-5

J. Van der Mynsbrugge, K. Hemelsoet, M. Vandichel, M. Waroquier, V. Van Speybroeck
Journal of Physical Chemistry C
116 (9), 5499-5508
2012
A1

Abstract 

Since many industrially important processes start with the adsorption of guest molecules inside the pores of an acidic zeolite catalyst, a proper estimate of the adsorption enthalpy is of paramount importance. In this contribution, we report ab initio calculations on the adsorption of water, alcohols and nitriles at the bridging Brønsted sites of H-ZSM-5, using both cluster and periodic models to account for the zeolite environment. Stabilization of the adsorption complexes results from hydrogen bonding between the guest molecule and the framework, as well as from embedding, i.e. van der Waals interactions with the pore walls. Large-cluster calculations with different DFT-methods, in particular B3LYP(-D), PBE(-D) M062X(-D) and ωB97X-D, are tested for their ability to reproduce the experimental heats of adsorption available in literature. (J. Phys. Chem. B 1997, 101, 3811-3817) A proper account of dispersion interactions is found to be crucial to describe the experimental trend across a series of adsorbates of increasing size, i.e. an increase in adsorption enthalpy by 10-15 kJ/mol for each additional carbon atom. The extended-cluster model is shown to offer an attractive alternative to periodic simulations on the entire H-ZSM-5 unit cell, resulting in virtually identical results for the final adsorption enthalpies. Comparing calculated stretch frequencies of the zeolite acid sites and the adsorbate functional groups with experimental IR-data additionally confirms the cluster approach provides an appropriate representation of the adsorption complexes.

Open Access version available at UGent repository

The influence of a polyamide matrix on the halochromic behaviour of the pH-sensitive azo dye Nitrazine Yellow

L. Van der Schueren, K. Hemelsoet, V. Van Speybroeck, K. De Clerck
Dyes and Pigments
94 (3), 443-451
2012
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Abstract 

It is of great interest to introduce pH-sensitive dyes into fibrous materials since this may result in flexible sensor systems. However, to date, the effect of a textile matrix on the halochromic properties of dyes is still unknown which severely limits their further development. Therefore, this paper focuses on an in-depth study of the halochromism of the azo pH-indicator dye Nitrazine Yellow in solution and incorporated in polyamide textile matrices with different structures. Based on both experimental spectroscopic data and computational calculations, an azo hydrazone tautomerism was found to be responsible for the halochromism of Nitrazine Yellow in solution. The hydrazone tautomer was most stable in neutral pH while the deprotonated dye molecule was believed to be an azo tautomer, resulting in a bathochromic shift with increasing pH. This tautomerism was, moreover, also present in the polyamide matrices. However, the equilibrium was clearly affected by the polymeric environment resulting in a shift and broadening of the dynamic pH-range. The polyamide type and textile structure influenced the halochromic response due to different interactions and accessibility of the dye. In conclusion, the halochromism of Nitrazine Yellow is present in all studied systems and is always based on an azo hydrazone tautomerism but the polyamide matrix causes distinct alterations in the tautomeric equilibrium.

Solvent-controlled selective transformation of 2-Bromomethyl-2-methylaziridines to functionalized aziridines and azetidines

S. Stankovic, H. Goossens, S. Catak, M. Tezcan, M. Waroquier, V. Van Speybroeck, M. D'Hooghe, N. De Kimpe
Journal of Organic Chemistry
77, 3181-3190
2012
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Abstract 

The reactivity of 2-bromomethyl-2-methylaziridines toward oxygen, sulfur, and carbon nucleophiles in different solvent systems was investigated. Remarkably, the choice of the solvent has a profound influence on the reaction outcome, enabling the selective formation of either functionalized aziridines in dimethylformamide (through direct bromide displacement) or azetidines in acetonitrile (through rearrangement via a bicyclic aziridinium intermediate). In addition, the experimentally observed solvent-dependent behavior of 2-bromomethyl-2-methylaziridines was further supported by means of DFT calculations.

Open Access version available at UGent repository

Experimental and theoretical IR study of methanol and ethanol conversion over H-SAPO-34

K. Hemelsoet, A. Ghysels, D. Mores, K. De Wispelaere, V. Van Speybroeck, B.M. Weckhuysen, M. Waroquier
Catalysis Today
177 (1), 12-24
2011
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Abstract 

Theoretical and experimental IR data are combined to gain insight into the methanol and ethanol conversion over an acidic H-SAPO-34 catalyst. The theoretical simulations use a large finite cluster and the initial physisorption energy of both alcohols is calculated. Dispersive contributions turn out to be vital and ethanol adsorbs stronger than methanol with approximately 14 kJ mol(-1). Calculated IR spectra of the alcohols and of formed aromatic cations upon conversion are also analyzed and support the peak assignment of the experimental in situ DRIFT spectra, in particular for the C-H and C=C regions. Theoretical IR spectra of the gas phase compounds are compared with those of the molecules loaded in a SAPO cluster and the observed shifts of the peak positions are discussed. To get a better understanding of these framework-guest interactions, a new theoretical procedure is proposed based on a normal mode analysis. A cumulative overlap function is defined and enables the characterization of individual peaks as well as induced frequency shifts upon adsorption. (C) 2010 Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved.

Open Access version available at UGent repository

The effect of confined space on the growth of naphthalenic species in an H-SSZ-13 catalyst: a molecular modeling study

K. Hemelsoet, A. Nollet, M. Vandichel, D. Lesthaeghe, V. Van Speybroeck, M. Waroquier
ChemCatChem
1 (3), 373-378
2009
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Abstract 

Methylation reactions of naphthalenic species over the acidic microporous zeolite with chabazite topology have been investigated by means of two-layered ab initio computations. Large cluster results combined with van der Waals contributions provide thermodynamic and kinetic results of successive methylation steps. The growth of fused bicyclic species is important as these can act as hydrocarbon pool species within the methanol-to-olefin (MTO) process, but ultimately leads to the deactivation of the catalyst. The influence of the confined space of the zeolite pore on the resulting transition state or product shape selectivity is investigated in detail.

A coordinative saturated vanadium containing metal organic framework that shows a remarkable catalytic activity

K. Leus, I. Muylaert, V. Van Speybroeck, G.B. Marin, P. Van der Voort
Studies in Surface Science and Catalysis
175, 329-332
2010
P1

Abstract 

A completely saturated Metal Organic Framework, MIL-47 was synthesized and tested for its catalytic performance in the oxidation of cyclohexene with tert-butyl hydroperoxide as oxidant. The catalyst was compared to several reference catalysts: namely VAPO-5, supported VOx/SiO2 and the homogeneous catalyst VO(acac)2. MIL-47 shows a remarkable catalytic activity and preserves its crystalline structure and surface area after a catalytic run. Furthermore MIL-47 exhibits a very high activity in successive runs.

Mechanistic Studies on Chabazite-Type Methanol-to-Olefin Catalysts: Insights from Time-Resolved UV/Vis Microspectroscopy Combined with Theoretical Simulations

V. Van Speybroeck, K. Hemelsoet, K. De Wispelaere, Q. Qian, J. Van der Mynsbrugge, B. De Sterck, B.M. Weckhuysen, M. Waroquier
ChemCatChem
5 (1), 173-184
2013
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Abstract 

The formation and nature of active sites for methanol conversion over solid acid catalyst materials are studied by using a unique combined spectroscopic and theoretical approach. A working catalyst for the methanol-to-olefin conversion has a hybrid organic–inorganic nature in which a cocatalytic organic species is trapped in zeolite pores. As a case study, microporous materials with the chabazite topology, namely, H-SAPO-34 and H-SSZ-13, are considered with trapped (poly)aromatic species. First-principle rate calculations on methylation reactions and in situ UV/Vis spectroscopy measurements are performed. The theoretical results show that the structure of the organic compound and zeolite composition determine the methylation rates: 1) the rate increases by 6 orders of magnitude if more methyl groups are added on benzenic species, 2) transition state selectivity occurs for organic species with more than one aromatic core and bearing more than three methyl groups, 3) methylation rates for H-SSZ-13 are approximately 3 orders of magnitude higher than on H-SAPO-34 owing to its higher acidity. The formation of (poly)aromatic cationic compounds can be followed by using in situ UV/Vis spectroscopy because these species yield characteristic absorption bands in the visible region of the spectrum. We have monitored the growth of characteristic peaks and derived activation energies of formation for various sets of (poly)aromatic compounds trapped in the zeolite host. The formation–activation barriers deduced by using UV/Vis microspectroscopy correlate well with the activation energies for the methylation of the benzenic species and the lower methylated naphthalenic species. This study shows that a fundamental insight at the molecular level can be obtained by using a combined in situ spectroscopic and theoretical approach for a complex catalyst of industrial relevance.

Scope and Mechanism of the (4+3) Cycloaddition Reaction of Furfuryl Cations

J.M. Winne, S. Catak, M. Waroquier, V. Van Speybroeck
Angewandte Chemie int. Ed.
50 (50) 11990–11993
2011
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Abstract 

Furfuryl alcohols are revealed as direct reaction partners for a wide range of conjugated dienes in a (4+3) cycloaddition motif (see scheme). This novel Lewis-acid-promoted process gives straightforward access to various polycyclic skeletons containing a seven-membered ring. A plausible cationic stepwise mechanism was confirmed by DFT calculations.

Electronic effects of linker substitution on Lewis acid catalysis with Metal-organic frameworks

F. Vermoortele, M. Vandichel, B. Van de Voorde, R. Ameloot, M. Waroquier, V. Van Speybroeck, D. De Vos
Angewandte Chemie int. Ed.
51(20), 4887-4890
2012
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Abstract 

Functionalized linkers can greatly increase the activity of metal–organic framework (MOF) catalysts with coordinatively unsaturated sites. A clear linear free-energy relationship (LFER) was found between Hammett σm values of the linker substituents X and the rate kX of a carbonyl-ene reaction. This is the first LFER ever observed for MOF catalysts. A 56-fold increase in rate was found when the substituent is a nitro group.

Investigating the Halochromic Properties of Azo Dyes in an Aqueous Environment by Using a Combined Experimental and Theoretical Approach

T. De Meyer, K. Hemelsoet, L. Van der Schueren, E. Pauwels, K. De Clerck, V. Van Speybroeck
Chemistry - A European Journal
18 (26), 8120-8129
2012
A1

Abstract 

The halochromism in solution of a prototypical example of an azo dye, ethyl orange, was investigated by using a combined theoretical and experimental approach. Experimental UV/Vis and Raman spectroscopy pointed towards a structural change of the azo dye with changing pH value (in the range pH 5–3). The pH-sensitive behavior was modeled through a series of ab initio computations on the neutral and various singly and doubly protonated structures. For this purpose, contemporary DFT functionals (B3LYP, CAM-B3LYP, and M06) were used in combination with implicit modeling of the water solvent environment. Static calculations were successful in assigning the most-probable protonation site. However, to fully understand the origin of the main absorption peaks, a molecular dynamics simulation study in a water molecular environment was used in combination with time-dependent DFT (TD-DFT) calculations to deduce average UV/Vis spectra that take into account the flexibility of the dye and the explicit interactions with the surrounding water molecules. This procedure allowed us to achieve a remarkable agreement between the theoretical and experimental UV/Vis spectrum and enabled us to fully unravel the pH-sensitive behavior of ethyl orange in aqueous environment.

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