Probing coke formation during the methanol-to-hydrocarbon reaction on zeolite ZSM-5 catalyst at the nanoscale using tip-enhanced fluorescence microscopy

Siiri Bienz, Sophie H van Vreeswijk, Yashashwa Pandey, Giovanni Luca Bartolomeo, Bert M Weckhuysen*, Renato Zenobi*, Naresh Kumar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The deactivation mechanism of the widely used zeolite ZSM-5 catalysts remains unclear to date due to the lack of analytical techniques with sufficient sensitivity and/or spatial resolution. Herein, a combination of hyperspectral confocal fluorescence microscopy (CFM) and tip-enhanced fluorescence (TEFL) microscopy is used to study the formation of different coke (precursor) species involved in the deactivation of zeolite ZSM-5 during the methanol-to-hydrocarbon (MTH) reaction. CFM submicron-scale imaging shows a preferential formation of graphite-like coke species at the edges of zeolite ZSM-5 crystals within 10 min of the MTH reaction ( i.e., working catalyst), whilst the amount of graphite-like coke species uniformly increased over the entire zeolite ZSM-5 surface after 90 min ( i.e., deactivated catalyst). Furthermore, TEFL nanoscale imaging with ∼35 nm spatial resolution revealed that formation of coke species on the zeolite ZSM-5 surface is non-uniform and a relatively larger amount of coke is formed at the crystal steps, indicating a higher initial catalytic activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5795-5801
Number of pages7
JournalCatalysis Science & Technology
Volume12
Issue number19
Early online date9 Sept 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sept 2022

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