Shiny disco catalysts! The cover picture shows a cationic hydrocarbon pool species of increasing size and methylation degree confined in a zeolitic cage. In their Full Paper on p. 173 ff., V. Van Speybroek, B. M. Weckhuysen et al. explain that these aromatic hydrocarbon species are reaction intermediates, coke precursors, or both, for the methanol-to-olefin process. They absorb at specific wavelengths and can be followed by in situ UV/Vis microspectroscopy. Experimentally derived activation energies for their formation correlate very well with calculated kinetic rate coefficients for methylation reactions. Our results show that the zeolite cage plays a decisive role in their activity.
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