A new gemini surfactant, [C18H37(CH3)2-N+-(CH2)3-N+-(CH3)2C18H37]Cl2 (C18-3-18), has been successfully used as the mesopore directing agent in the hydrothermal synthesis of mesoporous ZSM-5 (MZSM-5). The synthesis of MZSM-5 was realized with a low temperature crystallization process at 130 °C. The amount of C18-3-18 used in the synthesis affected the relative crystallinity and the textural properties of the obtained MZSM-5. Detailed investigation showed that the formation of MZSM-5 followed a crystallization transformation process. The use of C18-3-18 resulted in the formation of mesoporous material during the early stage of the synthesis, which was converted into MZSM-5 crystals templated by tetrapropylammonium bromide to form the MFI phase. As the synthesis proceeded, the MZSM-5 crystals aggregated into particles by weak interactions. This work shows that C18-3-18 can be used as a mesopore directing agent, which could provide a route for the synthesis of other mesoporous zeolites.
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