Zeolite and mesoporous silica nanomaterials: greener syntheses, environmental applications and biological toxicity
Zeolites and mesoporous silica nanoparticles are silicate or aluminosilicate nanomaterials with well-defined pore networks. Zeolites are widely used in industry for applications such as catalysis, separations and gas adsorption. Mesoporous silica nanomaterials have not been as extensively applied relative to zeolites due to the cost and reduced thermal stability, but are being intensively investigated for potential environmental and biomedical applications. In this article, zeolite and mesoporous silica nanomaterials are reviewed with emphasis on connections to the environment. Specifically, the topics of greener syntheses, environmental applications and biological toxicity will be addressed. Both of these materials are typically synthesized with a template, which is then removed to produce the pore volume. Synthetic strategies for the “greening” of the syntheses of zeolites and mesoporous silica will be discussed. Environmental applications including the adsorption of environmental contaminants and environmental catalysis will also be presented. Finally, the toxicity of zeolite and mesoporous silica nanomaterials will be considered.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Environmental Science: Nano 2014 Most Accessed Articles