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ASTM D3942-03

ASTM D3942-03

Standard Test Method for Determination of the Unit Cell Dimension of a Faujasite-Type Zeolite

2010-12-31 /Historical
Superseeded by:
Significance and Use:

Zeolites Y and X, particularly for catalyst and adsorbent applications, are a major article of manufacture and commerce. Catalysts and adsorbents comprising these zeolites in various forms plus binder and other components have likewise become important. Y-based catalysts are used for fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) and hydrocracking of petroleum, while X-based adsorbents are used for desiccation, sulfur compound removal, and air separation.

The unit cell dimension of a freshly synthesized faujasite-type zeolite is a sensitive measure of composition which, among other uses, distinguishes between the two synthetic faujasite-type zeolites, X and Y. The presence of a matrix in a Y-containing catalyst precludes determination of the zeolite framework composition by direct elemental analysis.

Users of the method should be aware that the correlation between framework composition and unit cell dimension is specific to a given cation form of the zeolite. Steam or thermal treatments, for example, may alter both composition and cation form. The user must therefore determine the correlation that pertains to his zeolite containing samples.3 In addition, one may use the method solely to determine the unit cell dimension, in which case no correlation is needed.

Other crystalline components may be present in the sample whose diffraction pattern may cause interference with the selected faujasite-structure diffraction peaks. If there is reason to suspect the presence of such components, then a full diffractometer scan should be obtained and analyzed to select faujasite-structure peaks free of interference.


1.1 This test method covers the determination of the unit cell dimension of zeolites having the faujasite crystal structure, including synthetic Y and X zeolites, their modifications such as the various cation exchange forms, and the dealuminized, decationated, and ultra stable forms of Y. These zeolites have cubic symmetry with a unit cell parameter usually within the limits of 24.2 and 25.0 (2.42 and 2.50 nm).

1.2 The samples include zeolite preparation in the various forms, and catalysts and adsorbents containing these zeolites. The zeolite may be present in amounts as low as 5 %, such as in a cracking catalyst.

1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

catalyst; faujasite; unit cell; X-ray diffraction; zeolite
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