J.A. Martens

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

Chlorination of a Zeolitic-Imidazolate Framework Tunes Packing and van der Waals Interaction of Carbon Dioxide for Optimized Adsorptive Separation

L.H. Wee, S. Vandenbrande, S.M.J. Rogge, J. Wieme, K. Asselman, E. Jardim, J. Silvestre-Albero, J. Navarro, V. Van Speybroeck, J.A. Martens, C. Kirschhock
JACS (Journal of the American Chemical Society)
143 (13), 4962-4968
2021
A1

Abstract 

Molecular separation of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) is of growing interest for biogas upgrading, carbon capture and utilization, methane synthesis and for purification of natural gas. Here, we report a new zeolitic-imidazolate framework (ZIF), coined COK-17, with exceptionally high affinity for the adsorption of CO2 by London dispersion forces, mediated by chlorine substituents of the imidazolate linkers. COK-17 is a new type of flexible zeolitic-imidazolate framework Zn(4,5-dichloroimidazolate)2 with the SOD framework topology. Below 200 K it displays a metastable closed-pore phase next to its stable open-pore phase. At temperatures above 200 K, COK-17 always adopts its open-pore structure, providing unique adsorption sites for selective CO2 adsorption and packing through van der Waals interactions with the chlorine groups, lining the walls of the micropores. Localization of the adsorbed CO2 molecules by Rietveld refinement of X-ray diffraction data and periodic density functional theory calculations revealed the presence and nature of different adsorption sites. In agreement with experimental data, grand canonical Monte Carlo simulations of adsorption isotherms of CO2 and CH4 in COK-17 confirmed the role of the chlorine functions of the linkers and demonstrated the superiority of COK-17 compared to other adsorbents such as ZIF-8 and ZIF-71.

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.

Flexibility versus rigidity: what determines the stability of zeolite frameworks? A case study

E. Verheyen, L. Joos, C. Martineau, C.J. Dawson, C. Weidenthaler, W. Schmidt, R. Yuan, E. Breynaerts, V. Van Speybroeck, M. Waroquier, F. Taulelle, M.M.J. Treacy, J.A. Martens, C. Kirschhock
Materials Horizons
Vol. 1 , 582 - 587
2014
A1

Abstract 

All silica COK-14/-COK-14 with OKO topology is the first case of a zeolite which reversibly transforms from a systematically interrupted to a fully connected state and back. Analysis of the opening/closing behavior allowed the study of entropy and framework flexibility as determinants for the stability of zeolite topologies, which, until now, has been experimentally inaccessible. Interconversion of the all-silica COK-14 zeolite with fully connected OKO topology and its -COK-14 variant with systematic framework interruption was investigated using high-temperature XRD, thermogravimetric analysis, Si-29 MAS NMR, nitrogen adsorption and a range of modelling techniques. Specific framework bonds in the OKO framework can be reversibly hydrolyzed and condensed. Structural silanols of the parent -COK-14, prepared by degermanation of the IM-12 zeolite, were condensed by heating at 923 K, and hydrolyzed again to the initial state by contacting the zeolite with warm water. Molecular modelling revealed an inversion of the relative stabilities for both variants depending on temperature and hydration. Condensation of the structural silanols in -COK-14 to COK-14 is entropy driven, mainly resulting from the release of water molecules. Framework reopening in the presence of water is spontaneous due to the high rigidity of the fully connected OKO framework. Isomorphous substitution was demonstrated as a viable option for stabilization of the fully connected OKO framework as this renders the closed framework flexible.

Entropy-Driven Chemisorption of NOx on Phosphotungstic Acid

S. Heylen, L. Joos, V. Van Speybroeck, C. Kirschhock, J.A. Martens
Angewandte Chemie int. Ed.
51 (44), 11010-11013
2012
A1

Abstract 

Nitrogen oxides, NOx, are formed in combustion engines. They contribute to acid rain and the formation of ozone and are hazardous for men and environment. In this article, a process was investigated that can 'capture' the NOx from the exhaust gases using heteropoly acids and can later release them for processing. One of the main conclusions is that the mobility of the captured and released molecules is the key to control the reaction. This can now be used to optimize and commercialize the technology.

Stikstofoxiden, aangeduid als NOx, worden gevormd in verbrandingsmotoren. Ze dragen bij tot zure regen, de vorming van ozon en zijn dus schadelijk voor mens en milieu. In dit artikel werd een proces onderzocht dat de NOx kan ‘vangen’ uit de uitlaatgassen aan de hand van heteropolyzuren en later terug kan vrijgeven voor verdere verwerking. Een van de belangrijkste vaststellingen is dat de mobiliteit van de opgeslagen en vrijgegeven moleculen de sleutel is voor het controleren van het proces. De conclusies van het onderzoek kunnen nu verder gebruikt worden voor de optimalisering en commercialisering van het proces.

http://www.ugent.be/nl/actueel/nieuws/persberichten/stikstofoxide-nox-ve...

NOx adsorption on Phosphotungstic acid is entropy-driven due to the watermolecules that are released.

MFI Fingerprint: How Pentasil-Induced IR Bands Shift during Zeolite Nanogrowth

D. Lesthaeghe, P. Vansteenkiste, T. Verstraelen, A. Ghysels, C. Kirschhock, J.A. Martens, V. Van Speybroeck, M. Waroquier
Journal of Physical Chemistry C
112 (25), 9186-9191
2008
A1

Abstract 

Silicalite-1 zeolite exhibits a characteristic pentasil framework vibration around 540−550 cm−1. In the initial stages of zeolite synthesis, however, this band is observed at much higher wavenumbers: literature shows this vibration to depend on particle size and to shift over 100 cm−1 with increasing condensation. In this work, the pentasil vibration frequency was derived from theoretical molecular dynamics simulations to obtain the correct IR band assignments for important nanoparticles. The IR spectroscopic fingerprint of oligomeric five-ring containing precursors proposed in the literature was computed and compared with experimental data. Our theoretical results show that, while isolated five-membered rings show characteristic vibrational bands around 650 cm−1, the combination of five-membered rings in the full MFI-type structure readily generates the bathochromic shift to the typical pentasil vibration around 550 cm−1. As opposed to what was previously believed, the IR band does not shift gradually as nanoparticle size increases, but it is highly dependent on the specific way structural units are added. The most important feature is the appearance of an additional band when double five-membered rings are included, which allows for a clear distinction between the key stages of early zeolite nucleation. Furthermore, the combination of the simulated spectra with the experimental observation of this spectral feature in nanoparticles extracted from silicalite-1 clear solutions supports their structured nature. The theoretical insights on the dependency of pentasil vibrations with the degree of condensation offer valuable support toward future investigations on the genesis of a zeolite crystal.

29Si NMR and UV-Raman Investigation of Initial Oligomerization Reaction Pathways in Acid-Catalyzed Silica Sol-Gel Chemistry

A. Depla, D. Lesthaeghe, T.S. van Erp, A. Aerts, K. Houthoofd, F. Fan, C. Li, V. Van Speybroeck, M. Waroquier, C. Kirschhock, J.A. Martens
Journal of Physical Chemistry C
115 (9), 3562–3571
2011
A1

Abstract 

The initial molecular steps of the acid-catalyzed silica sol−gel process de-parting from tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) were investigated by in situ 29Si NMR and UV−Raman spectroscopy. The use of a substoichiometric H2O:TEOS molar ratio (r-value 0.2−1.2) slowed the silicate oligomerization reaction and allowed unraveling the initial steps of silica condensation. Molecular modeling confirmed Raman signal and 29Si NMR shift assignment. A comprehensive listing of all Raman and 29Si NMR assignments is provided, including unique Raman assignments of cyclosilicates and the linear tetramer. The combination of experiment and modeling allowed an analysis of the reaction kinetics. The derived kinetic model and the experimental observation both revealed that the H2O:TEOS molar ratio had a strong influence on the reaction kinetics but not on the reaction pathways. The multianalytical approach led to development of an oligomerization scheme. As dominant oligomerizations, chain growth, cyclodimerization, and branching were identified. Under the investigated conditions, chains did not grow longer than pentamer, and ring sizes were limited to 6-rings. Chains of 4 Si atoms and 4-rings were abundant species. Branched rings and chains were formed by attachment of dimers and trimers. Gelation proceeded from branched 4-rings and branched chains with limited hydroxyl functionalities.

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