Challenge

Because the catalysts business is experiencing low margins and fierce competition, any gain in catalytic performance should be tightly weighed against associated additional cost. Although mesoporous zeolites can dramatically outperform conventional zeolites, a major reoccurring pitfall is the limited scalability and economic feasibility of their synthesis.

Often costly and toxic ingredients are used: the most common undesired ingredient being nitrogen-containing hydrocarbons. These organic molecules need to be tailor-made and are removed by an energy-consuming heat treatment, hereby forming undesired effluent gases such as CO2 and NOX. Moreover, the unit operations in the synthesis of mesoporous zeolites can be rather complex, involving ultra-centrifugation, freeze drying, ultrasound, and long reaction times. Hence, the true challenge is to combine the superior performance of mesoporous zeolites with a low-cost and green manufacture.

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