Skeletal isomerization of linear unsaturated fatty acids is important in the production of branched-chain saturated fatty acids with diverse applications. This reaction can be efficiently catalyzed by ferrierite (FER) zeolite. The reaction, however, suffers from diffusion limitations in the 10-membered ring channels. Herein, we report a method for the synthesis of hierarchically porous FER zeolite via transformation of FAU precursor driven by N-methylpyrrolidine (NMP) and amphiphile 1,2-dimethyl-3-hexadecyl-1H-imidazol-3-ium bromide (C16dMImz) as the structure-directing agent (SDA) and a mesoporogen, respectively, under hydrothermal conditions. This dual-template approach allows tuning the morphological and textural properties of the mesoporous FER materials by varying the concentration of the mesoporogen in the initial gel. The optimized FER sample is characterized by a high mesoporous volume (0.19 cm3 g-1), large external surface area (∼120 m2 g-1) and reduced crystal size in the a- and c-dimensions. This implies shortened diffusional pathways in the 10-membered ring channels. These modifications led to a significantly enhanced catalytic performance of hierarchical FER zeolite in the isomerization of fatty acids in comparison with a bulk FER reference zeolite.
- FAU transformation
- Fatty acid isomerization
- Hierarchical zeolite
Bolshakov, A., van de Poll, R., van Bergen-Brenkman, T. T., Wiedeman, S. C. C., Kosinov, N., & Hensen, E. (2020). Hierarchically porous FER zeolite obtained via FAU transformation for fatty acid isomerization’. Applied Catalysis. B, Environmental, 263, . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apcatb.2019.118356