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Silicalite-1 synthesized with geothermal and Ludox colloidal silica and corresponding TiO2/silicalite-1 hybrid photocatalysts for VOC oxidation

Suárez, Silvia, Postolache, Roxana, García-García, F Javier, Sánchez, Benigno, Rothon, Roger, Doyle, Aidan M and Tosheva, Lubomira (2020) Silicalite-1 synthesized with geothermal and Ludox colloidal silica and corresponding TiO2/silicalite-1 hybrid photocatalysts for VOC oxidation. Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, 302. p. 110202. ISSN 1387-1811 (In Press)

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Abstract

Silicalite-1 samples of uniform sub-micron size with two distinct morphologies were prepared using colloidal silica extracted from geothermal fluids. The colloidal silica used was provided by a New Zealand Company, GEO40 Ltd, and was produced by them using their patented process for recovering colloidal silica from geothermal brine. Spherical crystals with an average size of ca. 250 nm (S1N) as well as typical MFI-type coffin-shaped crystals with a size of ca. 900 nm (S1M) were prepared from clear synthesis solutions made from colloidal silica and aqueous tetrapropylammonium hydroxide of different concentration. The silicalite-1 samples prepared showed very similar characteristics to samples prepared using a conventional silica sol, Ludox SM, as a silica source. Silicalite-1 samples prepared with geothermal and conventional silica sols were used as supports for TiO2 nanoparticles. The hybrid TiO2/silicalite-1 materials were tested as photocatalysts for the photocatalytic degradation of trichloroethylene for air pollution control. The hybrid samples reduced the formation rates of non-desirable reaction products, promoting the mineralization process in comparison with a reference TiO2 xerogel and high Si/Al ratio ZSM-5-based hybrid materials.

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