Recently, prestigious scientific journal Nature Communications published online a research paper titled “Maximizing the use of ZSM-5 zigzag channels to improve the selectivity of p-xylene” written by the National Institute of Clean-and-Low-Carbon Energy (NICE) as the lead author and correspondent author.
This study found that the twin crystal structure and its zigzag channels can enhance the shape-selective catalytic ability of molecular sieves. It pioneered the directional regulation of molecular sieve acid center and channels under the condition of non-modification, and blazed a trail for functional design and synthesis of molecular sieves. The study will play a positive role in the application of molecular sieves in the field of industrial catalysis, especially in shape-selective catalytic reactions such as alkylation, disproportionation and aromatization. Take the alkylation of toluene methyl alcohol to p-xylene as an example. The twin molecular sieves overcame the difficulty of combining both activity and selectivity of the reaction and showed an excellent catalytic effect.
This technology developed by NICE takes advantage of the structural symbiosis in the synthesis of molecular sieves and gives full play to the shape selection ability of specific pore structure, allowing molecular sieves to obtain 99.3 percent pure p-xylene through one-step reaction in the alkylation of toluene methanol. The implementation of the research result is expected to greatly reduce the current energy consumption and raw material consumption in p-xylene separation and effectively avoid the life and activity problems caused by the use of modifiers.
At present, this technology has been applied in industrial experiment, and is expected to achieve efficient production of low-cost p-xylene with the help of the Group’s coal direct liquefied oil and coal tar products, which will help extend the industrial chain of coal-based chemicals and promote the clean and efficient conversion of coal.