Templating mesoporous zeolites

Kresten Egeblad, Christina Hviid Christensen, Marina Kustova, Claus H. Christensen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The application of templating methods to produce zeolite materials with hierarchical bi- or trimodal pore size distributions is reviewed with emphasis on mesoporous materials. Hierarchical zeolite materials are categorized into three distinctly different types of materials: hierarchical zeolite crystals, nanosized zeolite crystals, and supported zeolite crystals. For the pure zeolite materials in the first two categories, the additional meso- or macroporosity can be classified as being either intracrystalline or intercrystalline, whereas for supported zeolite materials, the additional porosity originates almost exclusively from the support material. The methods for introducing mesopores into zeolite materials are discussed and categorized. In general, mesopores can be templated in zeolite materials by use of solid templating, supramolecular templating, or indirect templating. In this categorization of templating methods, the nature of the interface between the zeolite crystal and the mesopore exactly when the mesopore starts to form is emphasized. In solid templating, the zeolite crystal is in intimate contact with a solid material that is being removed to produce the mesoporosity. Similarly, in supramolecular templating, the zeolite crystal is in direct contact with a supramolecular assembly of organized surfactants, which is removed to generate the mesopores. On the other hand, in the indirect templating method, the interface is between the zeolite crystal and solvent molecules, or possibly a gas phase. It is shown that the available templating approaches are quite versatile, and accordingly, it is possible to produce a very wide range of hierarchical zeolite materials. The resulting zeolite materials, featuring noncrystallographic mesopores in addition to the crystallographic micropores, exhibit significantly enhanced diffusional properties in comparison with purely microporous zeolite materials. These enhanced mass transport properties have been shown in several cases to result in significantly improved catalytic properties in a range of important reactions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)946-960
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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