Structure–performance descriptors and the role of Lewis acidity in the methanol-to-propylene process

Irina Yarulina, Kristof de Wispelaere, Simon Bailleul, Joris Goetze, Mike Radersma, Edy Abou-Hamad, Ina Vollmer, Maarten Goesten, Brahim Mezari, Emiel J.M. Hensen, Juan S. Martínez-Espín, Magnus Morten, Sharon Mitchell, Unni Olsbye, Veronique van Speybroeck, Freek Kapteijn, Jorge Gascon*, More Authors

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

194 Citations (Scopus)


The combination of well-defined acid sites, shape-selective properties and outstanding stability places zeolites among the most practically relevant heterogeneous catalysts. The development of structure–performance descriptors for processes that they catalyse has been a matter of intense debate, both in industry and academia, and the direct conversion of methanol to olefins is a prototypical system in which various catalytic functions contribute to the overall performance. Propylene selectivity and resistance to coking are the two most important parameters in developing new methanol-to-olefin catalysts. Here, we present a systematic investigation on the effect of acidity on the performance of the zeolite ‘ZSM-5’ for the production of propylene. Our results demonstrate that the isolation of Brønsted acid sites is key to the selective formation of propylene. Also, the introduction of Lewis acid sites prevents the formation of coke, hence drastically increasing catalyst lifetime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalNature Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

10.1038/s41557-018-0118-4 betreft link naar correctie. "already corrected in the online versions of the Article"


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