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Template-free nanosized faujasite-type zeolites



Nanosized faujasite (FAU) crystals have great potential as catalysts or adsorbents to more efficiently process present and forthcoming synthetic and renewable feedstocks in oil refining, petrochemistry and fine chemistry. Here, we report the rational design of template-free nanosized FAU zeolites with exceptional properties, including extremely small crystallites (10–15 nm) with a narrow particle size distribution, high crystalline yields (above 80%), micropore volumes (0.30 cm3 g−1) comparable to their conventional counterparts (micrometre-sized crystals), Si/Al ratios adjustable between 1.1 and 2.1 (zeolites X or Y) and excellent thermal stability leading to superior catalytic performance in the dealkylation of a bulky molecule, 1,3,5-triisopropylbenzene, probing sites mostly located on the external surface of the nanosized crystals. Another important feature is their excellent colloidal stability, which facilitates a uniform dispersion on supports for applications in catalysis, sorption and thin-to-thick coatings.

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Figure 1: Highly crystalline nanosized FAU-type zeolite crystals.
Figure 2: Highly stable precursor suspensions resulting in stable colloidal suspensions consisting of nanosized FAU-type zeolite crystals.
Figure 3: Highly crystalline FAU-type zeolites with nanosized particles and octahedral morphology.
Figure 4: Highly porous nanosized FAU-type zeolites with unusually high total pore volume.
Figure 5: Superior catalytic activity of the nanosized FAU compared to a commercial sample.


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The financial support from the Region of Lower Normandy and the MEET INTEREG EC and MicroGreen (ANR-12-IS08-01) projects is acknowledged.

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Authors and Affiliations



All authors contributed extensively to the work presented in this paper. H.A. and S.M. designed the experiment. H.A., J-M.G. and J-P.G. performed the catalytic experiment and discussed the results; R.R. and P.B. performed the HRTEM and Rietveld refinement, respectively. S.M., V.V. and J-P.G. analysed output data and wrote the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Svetlana Mintova.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Awala, H., Gilson, JP., Retoux, R. et al. Template-free nanosized faujasite-type zeolites. Nature Mater 14, 447–451 (2015).

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