B.M. Weckhuysen

Structure–performance descriptors and the role of Lewis acidity in the methanol-to-propylene process

I. Yarulina, K. De Wispelaere, S. Bailleul, J. Goetze, M. Radersma, E. Abou-Hamad, I. Vollmer, M. Goesten, B. Mezari, E.J.M. Hensen, J. S. Martínez-Espín, M. Morten, S. Mitchell, J. Perez-Ramirez, U. Olsbye, B.M. Weckhuysen, V. Van Speybroeck, F. Kapteijn, J. Gascon
Nature Chemistry
10 (8), 804-812
2018
A1

Abstract 

The combination of well-defined acid sites, shape-selective properties and outstanding stability places zeolites among the most practically relevant heterogeneous catalysts. The development of structure–performance descriptors for processes that they catalyse has been a matter of intense debate, both in industry and academia, and the direct conversion of methanol to olefins is a prototypical system in which various catalytic functions contribute to the overall performance. Propylene selectivity and resistance to coking are the two most important parameters in developing new methanol-to-olefin catalysts. Here, we present a systematic investigation on the effect of acidity on the performance of the zeolite ‘ZSM-5’ for the production of propylene. Our results demonstrate that the isolation of Brønsted acid sites is key to the selective formation of propylene. Also, the introduction of Lewis acid sites prevents the formation of coke, hence drastically increasing catalyst lifetime.

Suppression of the Aromatic Cycle in Methanol-to-Olefins Reaction over ZSM-5 by Post-Synthetic Modification Using Calcium

I. Yarulina, S. Bailleul, A. Pustovarenko, J. Ruiz-Martinez, K. De Wispelaere, J. Hajek, B.M. Weckhuysen, K. Houben, M. Baldus, V. Van Speybroeck, F. Kapteijn, J. Gascon
ChemCatChem
8 (19) 3057–3063
2016
A1

Abstract 

Incorporation of Ca in ZSM-5 results in a twofold increase of propylene selectivity (53 %), a total light-olefin selectivity of 90 %, and a nine times longer catalyst lifetime (throughput 792 gMeOH gcatalyst−1) in the methanol-to-olefins (MTO) reaction. Analysis of the product distribution and theoretical calculations reveal that post-synthetic modification with Ca2+ leads to the formation of CaOCaOH+ that strongly weaken the acid strength of the zeolite. As a result, the rate of hydride transfer and oligomerization reactions on these sites is greatly reduced, resulting in the suppression of the aromatic cycle. Our results further highlight the importance of acid strength on product selectivity and zeolite lifetime in MTO chemistry.

Insight into the Effect of Water on the Methanol-to-Olefins Conversion in H-SAPO-34 from Molecular Simulations and in Situ Microspectroscopy

K. De Wispelaere, C.S. Wondergem, B. Ensing, K. Hemelsoet, E.J. Meijer, B.M. Weckhuysen, V. Van Speybroeck, J. Ruiz-Martinez
ACS Catalysis
6, 1991-2002
2016
A1

Abstract 

The role of water in the methanol-to-olefins (MTO) process over H-SAPO-34 has been elucidated by a combined theoretical and experimental approach, encompassing advanced molecular dynamics simulations and in-situ micro-spectroscopy. First principle calculations at the molecular level point out that water competes with methanol and propene for direct access to the Brønsted acid sites. This results in less efficient activation of these molecules, which are crucial for the formation of the hydrocarbon pool. Furthermore, lower intrinsic methanol reactivity towards methoxide formation has been observed. These observations are in line with a longer induction period observed from in-situ UV-Vis micro-spectroscopy experiments. These experiments revealed a slower and more homogeneous discoloration of H-SAPO-34, while in-situ confocal fluorescence microscopy confirmed the more homogeneous distribution and larger amount of MTO intermediates when co-feeding water. As such it is show that water induces a more efficient use of the H-SAPO-34 catalyst crystals at the microscopic level. The combined experimental theoretical approach gives a profound insight into the role of water on the catalytic process at the molecular and single particle level.

Identification of intermediates in zeolite-catalyzed reactions using in-situ UV/Vis micro-spectroscopy and a complementary set of molecular simulations

K. Hemelsoet, Q. Qian, T. De Meyer, K. De Wispelaere, B. De Sterck, B.M. Weckhuysen, M. Waroquier, V. Van Speybroeck
Chemistry - A European Journal
19, 49, 16595-16606
2013
A1

Abstract 

The optical absorption properties of (poly)aromatic hydrocarbons occluded in a nanoporous environment were investigated by theoretical and experimental methods. The carbonaceous species are an essential part of a working catalyst for the methanol-to-olefins (MTO) process. In situ UV/Vis microscopy measurements on methanol conversion over the acidic solid catalysts H-SAPO-34 and H-SSZ-13 revealed the growth of various broad absorption bands around 400, 480, and 580 nm. The cationic nature of the involved species was determined by interaction of ammonia with the methanol-treated samples. To determine which organic species contribute to the various bands, a systematic series of aromatics was analyzed by means of time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) calculations. Static gas-phase simulations revealed the influence of structurally different hydrocarbons on the absorption spectra, whereas the influence of the zeolitic framework was examined by using supramolecular models within a quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics framework. To fully understand the origin of the main absorption peaks, a molecular dynamics (MD) study on the organic species trapped in the inorganic host was essential. During such simulation the flexibility is fully taken into account and the effect on the UV/Vis spectra is determined by performing TDDFT calculations on various snapshots of the MD run. This procedure allows an energy absorption scale to be provided and the various absorption bands determined from in situ UV/Vis spectra to be assigned to structurally different species.

Determining the Storage, Availability and Reactivity of NH3 within Cu-Chabazite-based Ammonia Selective Catalytic Reduction Systems

I. Lezcano-Gonzalez, U. Deka, A. Van Yperen-De Deyne, K. Hemelsoet, M. Waroquier, V. Van Speybroeck, B.M. Weckhuysen, A.M. Beale
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics (PCCP)
16, 1639-1650
2014
A1

Abstract 

Three different types of NH3 species can be simultaneously present on Cu2+-exchanged CHA-type zeolites, commonly used in Ammonia Selective Catalytic Reduction (NH3-SCR) systems. These include ammonium ions (NH4+), formed on the Bronsted acid sites, [Cu(NH3)(4)](2+) complexes, resulting from NH3 coordination with the Cu2+ Lewis sites, and NH3 adsorbed on extra-framework Al ( EFAl) species, in contrast to the only two reacting NH3 species recently reported on Cu-SSZ-13 zeolite. The NH4+ ions react very slowly in comparison to NH3 coordinated to Cu2+ ions and are likely to contribute little to the standard NH3-SCR process, with the Bronsted groups acting primarily as NH3 storage sites. The availability/ reactivity of NH4+ ions can be however, notably improved by submitting the zeolite to repeated exchanges with Cu2+, accompanied by a remarkable enhancement in the low temperature activity. Moreover, the presence of EFAl species could also have a positive influence on the reaction rate of the available NH4+ ions. These results have important implications for NH3 storage and availability in Cu-Chabazite-based NH3-SCR systems.

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
A1

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.

Mobility of the active centre in Cu-SSZ-13 as catalyst material in the Selective Catalytic Reduction of NOx by ammonia

ISBN/ISSN:
Poster

Conference / event / venue 

Dutch Zeolite Association 2014, Ghent, Belgium
Ghent, Belgium
Tuesday, 7 October, 2014

Characterisation of aromatic and aliphatic MTO intermediates using theoretical excitation and emission spectra

ISBN/ISSN:
Poster

Conference / event / venue 

6 th FEZA Conference 2014
Leipzig, Germany
Monday, 8 September, 2014 to Thursday, 11 September, 2014

Characterization of Methanol-to-Olefin Intermediates in Chabazite Zeolites using in-situ UV/Vis Microspectroscopy combined with Ab Initio Simulations

ISBN/ISSN:
Talk

Conference / event / venue 

XIth European Congress on Catalysis
Lyon - France
Sunday, 1 September, 2013 to Friday, 6 September, 2013

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - B.M. Weckhuysen