Acidity and catalytic activity of zeolite catalysts bound with silica and alumina
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Zeolites ZSM-5 (SiO2/Al2O3=30~280) and Y(SiO2/Al2O3=5.2~80) are bound with silica gel (Ludox HS-40 and Ludox AS-40) and alumina (?- Al2O3 and boehmite) by different binding methods, namely, gel-mixing, powder-mixing and powder-wet-mixing methods. The acidities of the bound catalysts and the zeolite powder are determined by NH3-TPD and FTIR. The textures of these catalysts are analyzed on a BET machine with nitrogen as a probe molecule. The micropore surface area and micropore volume are determined by t-plot method. Micropore volume distribution is determined by Horvath-Kawazoe approach with a cylindrical pore model. Mesopore volume distribution is determined by BJH method from the nitrogen desorption isotherm. Silica from the binder may react with extra-framework alumina in zeolites to form a new protonic acid. SiO2-bound catalysts have less strong acidity, Bronsted acidity and Lewis acidity than the zeolite powder. Also, the strength of strong acid sites of the zeolites is reduced when silica is embedded. Micropore surface area and micropore volume are reduced by about 19% and 18%, respectively, indicating some micropores of ZSM-5 are blocked on binding with silica. SiO2-bound ZSM-5 catalysts have less catalytic activity for butane transformation (cracking and disproportionation) and ethylene oligomerization than ZSM-5 powder. When alumina is used as a binder, both the total acid sites and Lewis acid sites are increased. Micropore surface area and micropore volume of ZSM-5 powder are reduced by 26% and 23%, respectively, indicating some micropores of ZSM-5 are blocked by the alumina binder. Alumina-bound catalysts showed a lower activity for butane transformation and ethylene oligomerization than ZSM-5 powder. Alkaline metals content in the binder is a crucial factor that influences the acidity of a bound catalyst. The metal cations neutralize more selectively Bronsted acid sites than Lewis acid sites. Alkaline metal cations in the binder and micropore blockage cause the bound catalysts to have a lower catalytic activity than the zeolite powder.