Porous liquid zeolites: hydrogen bonding-stabilized H-ZSM-5 in branched ionic liquids†
Porous liquids, as a newly emerging type of porous material, have great potential in gas separation and storage. However, the examples and synthetic strategies reported so far likely represent only the tip of the iceberg due to the great difficulty and challenge in engineering permanent porosity in liquid matrices. Here, by taking advantage of the hydrogen bonding interaction between the alkane chains of branched ionic liquids and the Brønsted sites in H-form zeolites, as well as the mechanical bond of the long alkyl chain of the cation penetrated into the zeolite channel at the interface, the H-form zeolites can be uniformly stabilized in branched ionic liquids to form porous liquid zeolites, which not only significantly improve their gas sorption performance, but also change the gas sorption–desorption behavior because of the preserved permanent porosity. Furthermore, such a facile synthetic strategy can be extended to fabricate other types of H-form zeolite-based porous liquids by taking advantage of the tunability of the counter-anion (e.g., NTf2−, BF4−, EtSO4−, etc.) in branched ionic liquids, thus opening up new opportunities for porous liquids for specific applications in energy and environment.