Spotlight on zeolites and MOFs as catalysts: similarities and differences; strengths and weakness
In heterogeneous catalysis, the availabilities of well defined active sites highly dispersed in appropriate enviroments that can guarantee high selectivity, is strongly desired. In this respct, microporous crystalline materials, such as zeolites and MOFs offer high potentialities, thanks to the large varieties of morphologies, topologies and chemical compositions. In this contribution, these two class of materials will be introduced and described, exploiting the insights given by a wide range of spectroscopies, applied in controlled atmosphere. Multi technique approaches, combined with molecular modelling will be used to describe these facinating materials, aiming to disclose their properties when they act as catalyst. Few examples will be selected as case studies to show crucial points in the investigation of these materials through in situ and operando spectroscopies. What are the strengths and weaknesses of some of the most used techniques and what is the role of molecular modeling in supporting the understanding of the system under consideration? How relevant is the availability of a set of samples with a well-defined structure and composition in order to identify general trends in the catalytic behavior of the catalysts? How is it possible to perform a structure-catalytic properties correlation to develop new catalysts with better performances?
Silvia Bordiga is Full Professor in Physical Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Turin. From 2012 to 2020 she was also Prof. II at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Oslo. In the period 2016-2021, she was the President of the Master Course in Material Science at Turin University. In 2017, she received the Prize from the French Chemical Society (bilateral prize France – Italy). In 2019 the European Federation of catalysis Societies (EFCAT) awarded her the Francois Gault Lectureship Award. She was recognized as Chemistry European Fellow in 2018-2019. In December 2019 she received the Wilhelm Manchot Research Professorship of the Dep. of Chemistry at the TUM University, Germany. In 2021 she received from Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei “Antonio Feltrinelli” prize.
Her scientific activity is mainly devoted to the characterization of the physical–chemical properties of high surface area nanostructured materials used as heterogeneous catalysts, materials for adsorption, separation and storage, through in situ spectroscopic studies. More recently, she is actively working to the development of the emerging field of Porous Metallorganic Frameworks, both contributing to the understanding of known materials and developing new ones for specific applications.