Integrating pore interconnectivity and adaptability in a single crystal hierarchical zeolite for liquid alkylation

Baoyu Liu*, Jiajin Huang, Zhantu Liao, Chongzhi Zhu, Qiaoli Chen, Guan Sheng, Yihan Zhu, Yi Huang, Jinxiang Dong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Zeolite belongs to one of the most important families of solid acid catalysts in chemical industries. It is, however, severely constrained by the diffusion limitation for bulky molecules, a lack of multifunctionality for sequential reactions and pore adaptability toward specific adsorbates due to its small micropore size and simple aluminosilicate framework. Introducing mesopores into a zeolite toward realizing hierarchical zeolites is a prevailing strategy but one that usually suffers from compromised crystallinity as well as insufficient interconnectivity and openness of the mesopores. Herein, a novel acid-redox co-functionalized single-crystalline zeolite with highly open and interconnected mesopores is designed and fabricated. As a proof-of-concept study, we integrate solid acid and Fe-oxy redox sites into a hierarchical MEL zeolite with well-characterized microporosity and mesoporosity. This zeolite exhibits superior activity and stability toward alkylation between mesitylene with benzyl alcohol, arising from greatly facilitated intra-crystal molecular diffusion, mitigated metal leaching and optimized adsorbate-pore wall interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere17177
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number6
Early online date13 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2021


  • alkylation
  • catalysis
  • diffusion
  • MEL zeolite
  • synthesis


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