DOCTORAL THESIS: Inelastic Neutron Scattering study of Brønsted acidity in LTA zeolite

Thesis: “Inelastic Neutron Scattering study of Brønsted acidity in LTA zeolite”

Venue: Salón de Actos del ITQ

Date: Friday, March 15 at 12.00 pm

Presents: Tetiana Lemishko (Institut Laue-Langevin, Instituto de Tecnología Química (ITQ) UPV-CSIC)

Directors: Mónica Jiménez-Ruiz (Institut Laue-Langevin (Grenoble, France), German Sastre (Instituto de Tecnología Química (ITQ) UPV-CSIC, Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, España)

This thesis is dedicated to the study of acidity of LTA zeolites with Si/Al ratios 5 and 40 by using the technique of inelastic neutron scattering (INS) in combination with other techniques such as computational modeling and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.

The catalytic properties of a zeolite depend strongly on its acidity, and this in turns depends on: the total number of acid sites, their individual strength, and their individual location. These three factors are strongly correlated. Geometric parameters that are defined by the location of the acid site (i.e., bond angles and lengths around the acid site) make a remarkable contribution to the acid strength.

There are several studies, found in literatures, typically done by Infrared (IR) or Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) technique and dedicated to acidity of zeolites. However, the hydrogen bending modes (200-1200 cm-1), which are found to be more sensitive to local environment, cannot be observed by this technique, since these bands overlap with strong bands of the vibrations of zeolitic framework (300-1800 cm-1).

INS technique used in this study allows to detect the bands of vibrations of hydrogen atoms in zeolites (including bending modes).

Moreover, this study shows that the combination of an extremely high quality of the samples and the sensitivity of the instrument allows to detect with high precision the acid sites of both high-silica and low-silica zeolites and obtain information about their position. This in its turn gives us the possibility to obtain the aluminium location in zeolites. In order to fully understand the INS spectra we performed ab-initio calculations that allow to interpret the experimental bands and choose a structural model that reproduces the probable location of acid sites in the sample.