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Nov-2022

Mesoporous zeolites deliver catalytic benefits (ERTC)

Catalytic results make compelling business cases in refining, petrochemicals, and the conversion of methanol, biomass and waste plastics.

Kurt Du Mong
ZEOPORE technologies

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Article Summary

Zeopore’s industrial mesoporisation technologies have the potential to make current processes in oil refineries and petrochemical plants more profitable, flexible, and sustainable. In addition, its innovative, accessible zeolites facilitate the development of emerging markets such as biomass or waste plastics conversions.

Mesoporous zeolites have gained a reputation as excellent catalysts. However, they are traditionally associated with a high price tag, degrading intrinsic zeolitic properties, and poor industrial scalability. Zeopore has developed a technology platform to convert commercially and readily available zeolite into a high-quality mesoporous zeolite. These tunable and cost-effective zeolites have proven enhanced catalytic benefits in several key applications and are produced at an affordable price.

Post-synthetic mesoporisation is typically applied to zeolite powders and is therefore often applied after zeolite crystallisation and before catalyst production. The mesoporisation process offers significant synergies with both steps (see Figure 1). For example, post-synthetic mesoporisation decouples the need to generate the external surface during hydrothermal synthesis. Alternatively, the favourable synergy between mesoporisation and catalyst production allows for much more efficient metal deposition.

A unique platform of mesoporised faujasite catalysts and ZSM-5-based additives has been developed for FCC. These display increased porosities and enhanced hydrothermal stability, delivering increased product selectivities and other significant benefits.

Also, in hydrocracking, Zeopore’s advanced mesoporisation boosts mesoporosity and preserves the fragile USY zeolitic properties. Higher accessibility brings gains in selectivity, activity, and stability for catalysts varying from diesel-selective to naphtha-selective catalysts.

The benefits of mesoporisation in dewaxing are even higher based on the unfavourable ratio between the size of the substrate molecules and the dimension of zeolite micropores. Here, tailored mesoporisation enables substantial benefits in diesel or lube molecule retention compared to standard non-mesoporised zeolites and state-of-the-art mesoporisation technologies.

In alcohol valorisation, such as methanol-to-olefins, advanced mesoporisation offers opportunities for subsequent catalytic upgrading towards olefins and other platform molecules. Zeopore’s tailored mesoporisation delivers an increased resistance towards coke formation and a significant boost in olefin selectivity.

In hydroprocessing applications, the incorporation of the metal function is a key value component in the design of bi-functional zeolite catalysts. The advanced mesoporisation technology helps achieve enhanced accessibility of zeolites while depositing various metals on the catalyst at significant dispersions.

Zeopore also enables sustainable supply chains in biomass, methanol, and waste plastics. In chemical waste plastics recycling, the advanced mesoporisation technology is of great value in the further work-up of pyrolysis oil derived from thermal cracking of waste plastics. Even more vital, Zeopore’s mesoporisation approaches enable the catalytic pyrolysis of waste plastics, yielding substantial activity improvements over conventional zeolites.

Zeopore is currently shifting from demonstrating the added value of its tuned mesoporised zeolites to industrial scale-up and commercialisation in collaboration with leading international parties. Our manufacturing processes can be customised to the demands of various partners and industrial scale up to several tonnes of zeolite catalysts. Zeopore’s technology platform has demonstrated that it can make refining processes more productive, sustainable, and economical.

This short article originally appeared in the 2022 ERTC Newspapers, which you can view HERE


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