Role of the ionic environment in enhancing the activity of reacting molecules in zeolite pores


N. Pfriem, P.H. Hintermeier, S. Eckstein, S. Kim, Q. Liu, H.Shi, L. Milakovic, Y. Liu, Gary L. Haller, E. Baráth, Y. Liu, J.A. Lercher

DOI: 10.1126/science.abh3418

Reproduced with permission from American Association for the Advancement of Science

The work headed by Prof Johannes Lercher demonstrates for the first time that tailoring the molecular environment around catalytically active site allows to enhance catalytic reactivity via a hitherto unexplored pathway. In zeolites, the presence of water creates an ionic environment via formation of hydrated hydronium ions and the negatively charged framework Al tetrahedra. Using the intramolecular dehydration of cyclohexanol on H-MFI in water, they showed quantitatively the enhancement of the reaction rate by the presence of high ionic strength as well as potential limitations of this strategy. Full publication is available at DOI: 10.1126/science.abh3418