Y-zeolites are the main component of fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalyst for conversion of crude petroleum to products of high demand including transportation fuel. We investigated effects of vanadium which is present as one of the impurities in FCC feedstock on the framework and micropore structure of ultra-stable (US) Y-zeolite. The zeolite samples were prepared and characterized using standard techniques including: (1) X-ray diffraction, (2) N2 adsorption employing non local density functional theory method, NLDFT, (3) Transmittance and Pyridine FTIR, (4) Transmittance electron microscopy (TEM), and (5) 27Al and 29Si MAS-NMR. Results revealed that in the presence of steam, vanadium caused excessive evolution of non inter-crystalline mesopores and structural damage. The evolved mesopore size averaged about 25.0nm at 0.5wt.% vanadium loading, far larger than mesopore size in zeolitic materials with improved hydrothermal stability and performance for FCC catalyst. A mechanism of mesopore formation based on accelerated dealumination has been proposed and discussed. Vanadium immobilization experiments conducted to mitigate vanadium migration into the framework clearly showed vanadium is mobile at reaction conditions. From the results, interaction of vanadium with the passivator limits and decreases mobility and activity of vanadium into inner cavities of the zeolite capable of causing huge structure breakdown and acid sites destruction. This study therefore deepens insight into the causes of alteration in activity and selectivity of vanadium contaminated catalyst and hints on a possible mechanism of passivation in vanadium passivated FCC catalyst.
- Pore structure