Binary systems consisting of large coadsorbed molecules (n-hexane, cyclohexane, and benzene) with smaller penetrant molecules (methane) were simulated to investigate the mechanisms of pore blockage in the zeolite silicalite. Benzene and cyclohexane trap the methane molecules in the zeolite channels on the time scales of molecular dynamics simulations. Minimum energy paths for methane diffusion past the blocking molecules were determined, and free energy perturbation calculations were carried out along the paths to get the rate constants of methane hopping past coadsorbed benzene and cyclohexane molecules, which adsorb in the channel intersections. Three principal diffusion pathways were found in both the methane/benzene and methane/cyclohexane systems. Minima which were connected by low-energy pathways were grouped together into macrostates. Using the calculated hopping rates between macrostates, kinetic Monte Carlo was then used to obtain the diffusivity of methane with a coadsorbate benzene loading such that all channel intersections are filled by benzene -conditions where molecular dynamics simulations fail. Passage of methane across cyclohexane molecules involved pushing the cyclohexane molecules into the channels from their preferred channel intersection positions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry