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Synthesis of Low Cost Titanium Silicalite-1 Zeolite for Highly Efficient Propylene Epoxidation

Meng Liu, Zihan Huang, Wei Wei, ,
Published: 7 June 2021
Frontiers in Chemistry , Volume 9; doi:10.3389/fchem.2021.682404

Abstract: Developing an effective and low-cost system to synthesize titanium silicalite-1 (TS-1) zeolite is desirable for a range of industrial applications. To date, the poor catalytic activity of the synthesized zeolite due to the low amount of framework titanium and large crystal size is the main obstacle limiting the widespread application of this material. Moreover, a large amount of wastewater is often produced by the existing synthesis process. Herein, a green and sustainable route for synthesizing small-crystal TS-1 with a high fraction of framework Ti was demonstrated via a seed-assisted method using a tetrapropylammonium bromide (TPABr)-ethanolamine hydrothermal system. The influence of the synthesis conditions on the physicochemical properties and catalytic activities of TS-1 was investigated. With the assistance of nanosized S-1 seeds, the incorporation of Ti into the framework of TS-1 was promoted, and the crystallization rate was effectively accelerated. After alkaline etching, the obtained hierarchical TS-1 had higher catalytic activity towards propylene epoxidation with an extremely high turnover frequency of 1,650 h−1. Furthermore, the mother liquid during the hydrothermal reaction could be reused for the next synthesis procedure. Consequently, utilization ratios of both ethanolamine and TPABr exceeding 95% were achieved by recycling the mother liquid. This low-cost approach for reducing wastewater could be easily scaled up to provide a promising synthesis method for the industrial production of TS-1 and other topological zeolites.
Keywords: Green synthesis / low-cost / Small crystals / TS-1 zeolite / propylene epoxidation

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