467587 Exploring Diffusion in Hierarchical Zeolites with Molecular Dynamics Simulations

Monday, November 14, 2016: 8:16 AM
Yosemite B (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
J. Ilja Siepmann1,2, Peng Bai3, Swagata Parhari1, Emmanuel Haldoupis1, Paul J. Dauenhauer3 and Michael Tsapatsis2, (1)Department of Chemistry and Chemical Theory Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, (2)Department of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, (3)Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Introducing mesoporosity to conventional microporous sorbents or catalysts is often proposed as a solution to enhance their mass transport rates. Here we show that diffusion in these hierarchical materials is more complex and exhibits non-monotonic dependence on sorbate loading. Our atomistic simulations of n-hexane, ethanol, and water in a model system containing microporous nanosheets and mesopore channels indicate that diffusivity can be smaller than in a conventional zeolite with the same micropore structure, and this observation holds true even if we confine the analysis to molecules completely inside the microporous nanosheets. Our model system is free of structural defects, such as pore blocking or surface disorder, that are typically invoked to explain slower-than-expected diffusion phenomena in experimental measurements. Examination of free energy profiles and visualization of molecular diffusion pathways allows us to rationalize the unique transport behavior in hierarchical nanoporous materials.

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See more of this Session: Effects of Confinement on Molecular Properties
See more of this Group/Topical: Engineering Sciences and Fundamentals