Accelerated synthesis of all-silica DD3R and its performance in the separation of propylene/propane mixtures

Jorge Gascon Sabate*, Wouter Blom, Arjen van Miltenburg, Alexandre Ferreira, Rob Berger, Freek Kapteijn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Synthesis of the all-silica Deca-Dodecasil 3 Rhombohedral (DD3R) zeolite was accelerated 10 times by seeding with small amount of crystals (0.02 wt%) with yields approaching 100%. The effects of other synthesis variables, like silica source, the presence of methanol or the synthesis pH on the final product distribution have been studied. The adsorption and separation of propylene and propane mixtures on this material are presented. The improved synthesis may form the basis to scale-up production of DD3R for selective separation processes. The single component adsorption isotherms could be well described with a dual-site Langmuir model. The binary mixture adsorption was determined from breakthrough/desorption experiments at 323, 358 and 383 K. By modelling the adsorptive column, diffusion coefficients at infinite dilution for single component and the effect of propane over propylene adsorption were determined. Cylindrical geometry describes the pore topology of DDR type materials well. Propane decreases the uptake rate of propylene by adsorption in the surface of the crystals. Propylene diffusion is best described by the "strong confinement" model inside the zeolite cages. Separation is due to only propylene adsorption with diffusion as rate determining step. Results revealed DD3R as a very effective molecular sieve for the separation or purification of propane-propylene mixtures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-593
Number of pages9
JournalMicroporous and Mesoporous Materials
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1 2008


  • Binary adsorption
  • Clathrasil
  • DD3R
  • PSA
  • Propane
  • Propylene
  • Separation
  • Zeolite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials


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