E. Breynaert

Super-ions of sodium cations with hydrated hydroxide anions: inorganic structure-directing agents in zeolite synthesis

K. Asselman, N. Pellens, S. Radhakrishnan, C. V. Chandran, J.A. Martens, F. Taulelle, T. Verstraelen, M. Hellstrom, E. Breynaert, C. Kirschhock
Materials Horizons
Volume 8, Issue 9, Pages 2576-2583
2021
A1

Abstract 

In inorganic zeolite formation, a direct correspondence between liquid state species in the synthesis and the supramolecular decoration of the pores in the as-made final zeolite has never been reported. In this paper, a direct link between the sodium speciation in the synthesis mixture and the pore structure and content of the final zeolite is demonstrated in the example of hydroxysodalite. Super-ions with 4 sodium cations bound by mono- and bihydrated hydroxide are identified as structure-directing agents for the formation of this zeolite. This documentation of inorganic solution species acting as a templating agent in zeolite formation opens new horizons for zeolite synthesis by design.

Interfacial study of clathrates confined in reversed silica pores

P. M. Mileo, S.M.J. Rogge, M. Houlleberghs, E. Breynaert, J.A. Martens, V. Van Speybroeck
Journal of Materials Chemistry A
9(38), 21835-21844
2021
A1

Abstract 

Storing methane in clathrates is one of the most promising alternatives for transporting natural gas (NG) as it offers similar gas densities to liquefied and compressed NG while offering lower safety risks. However, the practical use of clathrates is limited given the extremely low temperatures and high pressures necessary to form these structures. Therefore, it has been suggested to confine clathrates in nanoporous materials, as this can facilitate clathrate's formation conditions while preserving its CH4 volumetric storage. Yet, the choice of nanoporous materials to be employed as the clathrate growing platform is still rather arbitrary. Herein, we tackle this challenge in a systematic way by computationally exploring the stability of clathrates confined in alkyl-grafted silica materials with different pore sizes, ligand densities and ligand types. Based on our findings, we are able to propose key design criteria for nanoporous materials favoring the stability of a neighbouring clathrate phase, namely large pore sizes, high ligand densities, and smooth pore walls. We hope that the atomistic insight provided in this work will guide and facilitate the development of new nanomaterials designed to promote the formation of clathrates.

Gold Open Access

Hydrogen Clathrates: Next Generation Hydrogen Storage Materials

A. Gupta, G.V. Baron, P. Perreault, S. Lenaerts, R.-G. Ciocarlan, P. Cool, P. M. Mileo, S.M.J. Rogge, V. Van Speybroeck, G. Watson, P. Van der Voort, M. Houlleberghs, E. Breynaert, J.A. Martens, J.F.M. Denayer
Energy Storage Materials
41, 69-107
2021
A1

Abstract 

Extensive research has been carried on the molecular adsorption in high surface area materials such as carbonaceous materials and MOFs as well as atomic bonded hydrogen in metals and alloys. Clathrates stand among the ones to be recently suggested for hydrogen storage. Although, the simulations predict lower capacity than the expected by the DOE norms, the additional benefits of clathrates such as low production and operational cost, fully reversible reaction, environmentally benign nature, low risk of flammability make them one of the most promising materials to be explored in the next decade. The inherent ability to tailor the properties of clathrates using techniques such as addition of promoter molecules, use of porous supports and formation of novel reverse micelles morphology provide immense scope customisation and growth. As rapidly evolving materials, clathrates promise to get as close as possible in the search of “holy grail” of hydrogen storage. This review aims to provide the audience with the background of the current developments in the solid-state hydrogen storage materials, with a special focus on the hydrogen clathrates. The in-depth analysis of the hydrogen clathrates will be provided beginning from their discovery, various additives utilised to enhance their thermodynamic and kinetic properties, challenges in the characterisation of hydrogen in clathrates, theoretical developments to justify the experimental findings and the upscaling opportunities presented by this system. The review will present state of the art in the field and also provide a global picture for the path forward.

Gold Open Access

Strongly Reducing (Diarylamino)benzene Based Covalent Organic Framework for Metal-Free Visible Light Photocatalytic H2O2 Generation

C. Krishnaraj, H. S. Jena, L. Bourda, A. Laemont, P. Pachfule, J. Roeser, C. V. Chandran, S. Borgmans, S.M.J. Rogge, K. Leus, C.V. Stevens, J.A. Martens, V. Van Speybroeck, E. Breynaert, A. Thomas, P. Van der Voort
JACS (Journal of the American Chemical Society)
142 (47), 20107-20116
2020
A1

Abstract 

Photocatalytic reduction of molecular oxygen is a promising route toward sustainable production of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). This challenging process requires photoactive semiconductors enabling solar energy driven generation and separation of electrons and holes with high charge transfer kinetics. Covalent organic frameworks (COFs) are an emerging class of photoactive semiconductors, tunable at a molecular level for high charge carrier generation and transfer. Herein, we report two newly designed two-dimensional COFs based on a (diarylamino)benzene linker that forms a Kagome (kgm) lattice and shows strong visible light absorption. Their high crystallinity and large surface areas (up to 1165 m2·g−1) allow efficient charge transfer and diffusion. The diarylamine (donor) unit promotes strong reduction properties, enabling these COFs to efficiently reduce oxygen to form H2O2. Overall, the use of a metal-free, recyclable photocatalytic system allows efficient photocatalytic solar transformations.

Gold Open Access

Alternating Copolymer of Double Four Ring Silicate and Dimethyl Silicone Monomer - PSS-1

S. Smet, S. Vandenbrande, P. Verlooy, S. Kerkhofs, E. Breynaert, C. Kirschhock, C. Martineau, F. Taulelle, V. Van Speybroeck, J.A. Martens
Chemistry - A European Journal
23 (47), 11286-11293
2017
A1

Abstract 

A new copolymer consisting of double four ring (D4R) silicate units linked by dimethylsilicone monomer referred to as polyoligosiloxysilicone number one (PSS-1) was synthesized. The D4R building unit is provided by hexamethyleneimine cyclosilicate hydrate crystals, which were dehydrated and reacted with dichlorodimethylsilane. The local structure of D4R silicate units and dimethyl silicone monomers was revealed by multidimensional solid-state NMR, FTIR and modeling. On average, D4R silicate units have 6.8 silicone linkages. Evidence for preferential unidirectional growth and chain ordering within the PSS-1 copolymer was provided by STEM and TEM. The structure of PSS-1 copolymer consists of twisted columns of D4R silicate units with or without cross-linking. Both models are consistent with the spectroscopic, microscopic and physical properties. PSS-1 chains are predicted to be mechanically strong compared to silicones such as PDMS, yet more flexible than rigid silica materials such as zeolites.

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