Enhanced cracking of bulky hydrocarbons over hierarchical ZSM-5 materials: a comparative study

  • Xuan Hoan Vu
  • Thanh Tam Truong
  • Udo Armbruster


A comparative study of hierarchical ZSM-5 materials including nanosized ZSM-5 (Nano-ZSM-5), nanosized ZSM-5/SBA-15 composite (Com-ZSM-5) and mesoporous ZSM-5 (Meso-ZSM-5) for the enhanced cracking of bulky hydrocarbons is reported. The studied materials were thoroughly characterized by XRD, SEM, TEM, N2-sorption, AAS, ICP-AES, NH3-TPD, FTIR of adsorbed pyridine before being tested in the cracking of 1,3,5 tri-isopropyl-benzene (TIPB) as a representative of bulky hydrocarbons. It was found that all synthesized hierarchical ZSM-5 materials exhibit the preservation of intrinsic, strong Brønsted acidity of ZSM-5 along with the enlarged external/mesoporous surface. The catalytic test results show that these hierarchical ZSM-5 materials indeed promote successive cracking reactions, leading to the enhanced TIPB conversion and selectivity to the deep cracking products, i.e. cumene and benzene compared to those of bulk, commercial ZSM-5. However, the development of mesoporosity by reducing the crystal size of ZSM-5 appears limited (Smeso = 134 m2 g−1). As a result, Nano-ZSM-5 affords only the moderate TIPB conversion and selectivity to deep cracking products (ca. 70% and ca. 20% respectively). Remarkably, the introduction of either intercrystalline mesopores by dispersion of Nano-ZSM-5 in the mesoporous SBA-15 analog matrix (Com-ZSM-5) or intracrystalline mesopores by the alkaline-acid treatments (Meso-ZSM-5) significantly improves the external/mesoporous surface (Smeso = 233–297 m2 g−1), giving rise to both the high TIPB conversion and selectivity to the deep cracking products (ca. 90% and ca. 25% respectively).


Zeolite ZSM-5 SBA-15 Acidity Cracking 



The authors would like to thank Dr. M.-M. Pohl for recording TEM images; R. Kraehnert for SEM measurements; Dr. U. Bentrup for IR of adsorbed pyridine studies; Mr. R. Eckelt for N2-adsorption and desorption measurements; Dr. A. Martin is acknowledged for his valuable advice on the experimental design and result discussion. H. X. Vu thanks Ton Duc Thang University and Leibniz-Institut für Katalyse for financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xuan Hoan Vu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Thanh Tam Truong
    • 3
  • Udo Armbruster
    • 4
  1. 1.Department for Management of Science and Technology DevelopmentTon Duc Thang UniversityHo Chi Minh CityVietnam
  2. 2.Faculty of Applied SciencesTon Duc Thang UniversityHo Chi Minh CityVietnam
  3. 3.Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of ChemistryQuy Nhon UniversityQuy Nhon CityVietnam
  4. 4.Leibniz-Institut für Katalyse e.V. an der Universität RostockRostockGermany

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