FURI | Spring 2023

Synthesis and Characterization of Metal Substituted Zeolites

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Zeolites are crystals with large, cage-like structures that contain aluminum, silicon, phosphorus, and other elements. They are commonly used in industry as reactor catalysts or moisture absorbents. However, zeolites that contain metals in their frameworks have been shown by computer algorithms to absorb oxygen at low temperatures and pressures, giving them the possible use for sustainable life support systems on Mars. Zeolites containing metal compounds have been synthesized in the lab, but it is difficult to determine whether the metal is contained in the cage structure of the crystal or is within the molecular frameworks itself. The purpose of this project is to attempt novel approaches to metal-substituted zeolite synthesis, like dry gel conversion, and determine whether the substituting metal was successfully integrated into the molecular frameworks.

Student researcher

Jared Ray Bridges

Chemical engineering

Hometown: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2024