Issue Date: May 4, 2009
Chiral Zeolite With Really Big Pores
A multinational team of chemists has synthesized a chiral porous germanosilicate zeolite with unusually large pores of roughly 20 Å diameter (Nature 2009, 458, 1154). Porous crystalline materials are widely used in purification processes, gas separation, and catalysis. The exceptional openness of the new material, dubbed ITQ-37, may enable those processes to be selectively applied to chiral molecules and to larger molecules than was previously possible. Junliang Sun and Avelino Corma of Polytechnic University of Valencia, in Spain, and Xiaodong Zou of Stockholm University and coworkers used a large dicationic organic structure-directing agent—a bulky diquaternary ammonium compound—to mediate the synthesis of ITQ-37. The team employed a combination of high-resolution electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and novel computational methods to determine its crystal structure. Tests show that ITQ-37-based catalysts are three times more effective at mediating formation of acetals from bulky aldehydes than catalysts based on a common zeolite of similar crystal size but with smaller pores.
- Chemical & Engineering News
- ISSN 0009-2347
- Copyright © American Chemical Society