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Dai Group Published in Nature Communications

The Dai Group published their latest research “Intra-crystalline mesoporous zeolite encapsulation-derived thermally robust metal nanocatalyst in deep oxidation of light alkanes” in Nature Communications.

Zeolite-confined metal nanoparticles (NPs) have attracted much attention owing to their superior sintering resistance and broad applications for thermal and environmental catalytic reactions. However, the pore size of the conventional zeolites is usually below 2 nm, and reactants are easily blocked to access the active sites.

In this work, a facile in situ mesoporogen-free strategy is developed to design and synthesize palladium (Pd) NPs enveloped in a single-crystalline zeolite (silicalite-1, S-1) with intra-mesopores (termed Pd@IM-S-1). Pd@IM-S-1 exhibited remarkable light alkanes deep oxidation performances, and it should be attributed to the confinement and guarding effect of the zeolite shell and the improvement in mass-transfer efficiency and active metal sites accessibility. The Pd–PdO interfaces as a new active site can provide active oxygen species to the first C-H cleavage of light alkanes. “This work exemplifies a promising strategy to design other high-performance intra-crystalline mesoporous zeolite-confined metal/metal oxide catalysts for high-temperature industrial thermal catalysis”, said Honggen Peng, a previous visiting scholar in the Dai Group.