Multifunctional hybrid structured ZSM-5 and Co3O4 nano-array based monoliths

  • Enhanced low-temperature (cold start) emission control from ZSM-5 based nanorod arrays and multifunctional catalytic support systems with enhanced surface area and additional pore channel direction
  • Enhanced catalytic reaction kinetics and capacity reduce cost and add functionality to catalyst support systems, offering cleaner and greener processes across multiple industries
  • Cordierite substrates are covered in orthogonally grown crystalline nano-rod arrays of ZSM-5 allowing for higher surface area, additional c-direction pathways for chemicals and gases, and is customizable and expandable to include multiple catalyst types


Background and Unmet Need

Catalysts are used across science to accomplish reactions more efficiently, and innovative solutions to specific needs are constantly being developed. However, for emission control systems, oil and gas refining, and many other industries there is a huge cost associated with the precious metals and other components of effective catalysts. Reducing carbon emissions, lowering the carbon footprint, and reducing costs are all of prime importance.


Using a novel approach, UConn scientists have developed ZSM-5 nanorod arrays with high surface area and a new, c-directional channel of molecular action. This architecture is further enhanced by the ability to generate one or more nanorod arrays of ZSM-5 and other metal oxides, such as Co3O4, which offer combinatorial catalytic chemistries for the resulting material.

These zeolite-based nanoarrays grow orthogonally from a cordierite substrate, offering a morphology which affords an abundance of acid sites for further functionalization. These nanorod arrays also allow additional pathways for chemicals and gases to travel, increasing the capacity of the catalytic system without increasing its size or cost.

Further demonstrating the wide applicability of this approach, it has been shown that multiple materials can also be templated into these nanoarrays. It is possible to create additional chemical functionality this way, as well as offering highly branched pathways and even more surface area for reactions to occur. The example case of Co3O4 and ZSM-5 show a system capable of achieving a low-temperature trap with high-temperature oxidation chemistry, which is only one example of the possible combinatorial benefits of this technology.

UConn’s zeolite (ZSM-5) and metal oxide (Co3O4) based nanorod arrays are capable of mono, di, and multi-functional hybrid catalysis systems which have increased capacity, enhanced rate of reaction, and lowered temperature of operation, allowing low-temperature capture and high-temperature oxidation in the same material.

Potential Applications


  • ZSM-5 nanorod array increases surface area and catalytic capacity
  • Improved “trap” and amount of catalysis for cold-start emissions systems
  • Combinatorial functionality allows for unique, customizable catalyst systems

Market Application:

  • Emissions control and utilization
  • Oil, gas, and other refining operations
  • Numerous other catalytic applications depending on the choice of functionalization

Contact Information

Name: Michael A Invernale


Phone: (860) 486-2531