According to a study published in the scientific journal Nature in early September, a team of researchers at KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Technology) stated that it found a new method of producing sheets of zeolite.
Zeolites are porous crystalline inorganic polymers, which are used as molecular sieves and as catalysts for chemical reactions. This material, whose molecular structure resembles a honeycomb allows, regulating the size and shape of molecules into and out of the pores of catalyzing chemical reactions. However, these pores may also hinder the diffusion of reactants or products which affects the catalytic activity of the material. This problem can be solved by reducing the thickness of zeolite crystals. Scientists had previously managed to reduce it to 5 nanometers. According to Prof.. Ryoo Ryong method used to create sheets of zeolite than 2 nanometers thick with important catalytic properties while providing improved resistance to catalyst poisons unlike its traditional counterparts.
Prof. Ryoo and colleagues at the Polytechnic University of Valencia in Spain, co-authors of the article used the structures of organic molecules to fabricate nano-zeolite sheets of 2 nanometers thick. “The zeolite can be used as a catalyst to convert heavy oil into gasoline. Our zeolite may offer more opportunities like transforming methanol into gasoline” the researchers say.