The catalytic dehydration of propan-2-ol over H-Y and H-ZMS-5 aluminatedzeolite models, mimicking both internal cavities and external surfaces, wasstudied by DFT calculations to investigate the reaction mechanism. After the adsorption of propan-2-ol on the zeolite, the dehydration mechanism starts with alcohol protonation, occurring by one acidic –OH group of the zeolite fragment, followed by a concerted b-elimination to give propene. The catalytic activity isaffected by the size of the zeolite cavity, which is larger in the H-Y than in the H-ZMS-5 zeolite. The adsorption energy of the reagent, as an example, decreases in the order: H-Y cavity = H-ZMS-5 > surface H-ZMS-5 cavity, pointing that the adsorption process should preferentially occur either on open surface or inside larger cavity. More interestingly, confinement effects play a twofold role in driving the reaction pathway, resulting in two different effects on the reaction outcomes. The thermodynamic stability, evaluated by the standard free energy difference ofthe products (water and propene) with respect to the reactant (propan-2-ol), would indeed suggest that the reaction more smoothly could occur for the systems: H-ZMS-5 surface > non-catalyzed > H-Y cavity > H-ZMS-5 cavity. The activation standard free energy of the process conversely decreases in the order: non-catalyzed > H-ZMS-5 surface > H-ZMS-5 cavity > H-Y cavity, suggesting that the reaction is faster inside zeolite cavities. Experimental and computational results are in agreement, giving confidence on the atomistic-level insights provided.
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||Reaction Kinetics, Mechanisms and Catalysis|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry