Eduardo Andrés

Eduardo Andres

Van der Maasweg 9, 2629 HZ Delft 
Room: E2.140
Tel: *31 (0)15-2784446

New zeolitic materials for adsorptive separations 

Zeolites are crystalline aluminosilicates of alkali or alkali earth elements, such as sodium, potassium or calcium. The primary structural units of zeolites are the tetrahedra of silicon and aluminum, SiO4 and AlO4. These units are assembled into secondary polyhedral building units such as cubes, hexagonal prisms, octahedra, and truncated octahedra. The silicon and aluminum atoms, located at the corners of the polyhedra, are joined by a shared oxygen. The final zeolite structure consists of the assembly of the secondary units in a regular 3D crystalline framework. Their unique framework and high specific surface area make them, depending on composition and porous structure, broadly applicable in petrochemical processes, in fine chemical and pharmaceutical production, in contamination abatement, in sensors, and in optoelectronic materials.


Figure 1.- Atomic structure of the Zeolite ITQ-29, with a LTA topology

Since the invention of synthetic zeolites in 1959, innovations in sorbent development and adsorption process cycles have made adsorption a key separation tool in the chemical, petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries. In all future energy and environmental technologies, adsorption will likely play either a key or a limiting role. 

Separation may be defined as a process that separates a mixture of substances into two or more products that differ from each other in composition. The process is difficult to achieve because it is the opposite of mixing, a process favoured by the second law of thermodynamics. Consequently, the separation steps often account for the major production costs in chemical industries. 

Adsorption is usually performed in columns packed with sorbent particles, or fixed-bed adsorbers. The high separating power of chromatography that is achieved in a column is a unique advantage of adsorption as compared with other separation processes. The high separating power is caused by the continuous contact and equilibration between the fluid and sorbent phases. 

The objetive in this project, in close collaboration with ITQ is the Characterization of Zeolites, for their use as sorbents for gas separation, mainly CO2 and olefin/paraffin mixtures.


TUDelft is gratefully acknowledged for funding this research.


  1. Zeolites and Catalysis - Synthesis, Reactions and Applications
    Eds: J. Cejka, A. Corma and S. Zones
  2. Adsorption and Diffusion, Molecular Sieves - 7 (Science and Technology)
    Eds: H. G. Karge and J. Weitkamp
  3. Adsorbent - Fundaments and Applications
    Ed: R. T. Yang
  4. Supramolecular self-assembled molecules as organic directing agent for synthesis of zeolites
    Avelino Corma, Fernando Rey, Jordi Rius, María J. Sabater, Susana Valencia
    NATURE|VOL 431|16 SEPTEMBER 2004|
  5. Accelerated synthesis of all-silica DD3R and its performance in the separation of propylene/propane mixtures
    Jorge Gascon, Wouter Blom, Arjen van Miltenburg, Alexandre Ferreira, Rob Berger, Freek Kapteijn
    Microporous and Mesoporous Materials 115 (2008) 585–593
  6. Propylene/propane mixture adsorption on faujasite sorbents
    Arjen van Miltenburg, Jorge Gascon, Weidong Zhu, Freek Kapteijn, Jacob A. Moulijn
    Adsorption (2008) 14: 309–321 DOI 10.1007/s10450-007-9101-x
  7. Ethane/Ethene Separation Turned on Its Head: Selective Ethane Adsorption on the Metal-Organic Framework ZIF-7
    through a Gate-Opening Mechanism
    Canan Gücüyener, Johan van den Bergh, Jorge Gascon, Freek Kapteijn
    J. AM. CHEM. SOC. 9 VOL. 132, NO. 50, 2010