Catalysis Today, Vol.345, 116-124, 2020
The structure-catalytic activity relationship for the transient layered zeolite MCM-56 with MWW topology
Zeolite MCM-56 is a high alumina, monolayered form of the commercially useful framework MWW but it is a transient product during crystallization, so many factors influence its state and quality. This work examines properties of a series of MCM-56 and MCM-49 samples synthesized for different times using Aerosil, Ultrasil and Ludox as silica sources, hexamethyleneimine as the structure directing agent and additionally aniline as structure promoting agent. It was found that the most important parameter, governing the catalytic activity in the test reaction of Friedel-Crafts alkylation of mesitylene with benzyl alcohol, was availability of the Bronsted acid centers located at the external surfaces of the crystals. The key role in correlating physical characteristic with activity was played by infrared spectroscopy as it enabled the study of many properties of the tested materials, starting from the total concentration of acid centers, and their type (Bronsted or Lewis acids) through the concentration of centers available for the reagent molecules, to investigating the correlation of acidity with the degree of zeolite crystallinity.