Adsorption of Aromatics in MFI-Type Zeolites: Experiments and Framework Flexibility in Monte Carlo Simulations

Sebastián Caro-Ortiz, Erik Zuidema, Desmond Dekker, Marcello Rigutto, David Dubbeldam, Thijs J.H. Vlugt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Computer simulations of adsorption of aromatics in zeolites are typically performed using rigid zeolite frameworks. However, adsorption isotherms for aromatics are very sensitive to small differences in the atomic positions of the zeolite (Chem. Phys. Lett., 1999, 308, 155-159). This article studies the effect of framework flexibility on the adsorption of aromatics in MFI-type zeolites computed by grand-canonical Monte Carlo simulations. New experimental data of adsorption of ethylbenzene in a MFI-type zeolite at 353 K is presented. The adsorption of n-heptane, ethylbenzene, and xylene isomers is computed in three MFI-type zeolite structures. It is observed that the intraframework interactions in flexible framework models induce small but important changes in the atom positions of the zeolite and hence in the adsorption isotherms. Framework flexibility is differently "rigid": flexible force fields produce a zeolite structure that vibrates around a new equilibrium configuration with limited capacity to accommodate to a bulky guest molecule. The vibration of the zeolite atoms only plays a role at high loadings, and the adsorption is mainly dependent on the average positions of the atoms. The simulations show that models for framework flexibility should not be blindly applied to zeolites and a general reconsideration of the parametrization schemes for such models is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21782-21797
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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