Zeolites and related materials are an important class of inorganic porous solids with unique properties, which make them valuable in numerous industrial applications. For instance, they are the most widely used industrial catalysts essential to petroleum valorisation by fluid catalytic cracking, and the most widely diffused commodity for environment protection as a phosphate substitute in detergent formulation. Their applications are based on their ordered pore structure, which is at the origin of their molecular sieving and shape selectivity properties and allow them to selectively adsorb and transform molecules of a given size.
The research for new applications is thriving: zeolites of new composition such as those containing transition metals present original catalytic properties, molecular sieves with larger pores are prepared through the use of micellar templates and original applications of the confinement effect in ordered pores are developed in the fields of solid-state devices. In the USA, a cycle of Gordon conferences on zeolites exists, completely independent of conference cycles on catalysis or material synthesis. European research, both industrial and academic, has several centres of excellence in zeolite research.
The need for coordination felt by European scientists is witnessed by the formation of the FEZA in 1994, the Federation of the European Zeolite Associations. EURESCO conferences on zeolite molecular sieves are needed to give momentum to the European research in the field at the crucial moment of the development of new applications. The first meeting of the proposed conference series will deal with the synthesis, characterisation and applications of framework modified zeolitic solids by isomorphous substitution with transition metals.
A better understanding of the properties of the metal site is needed to develop new applications in particular in catalysis. In order to reach this objective six out of thirteen invited lectures will focus on the study of the location of the transition elements. The other lectures will deal with the synthesis and catalytic properties of such materials. In addition to the invited lectures short oral presentations of selected posters will be given by young researchers on specific cases. Question time after the lectures, oral presentations, half-day session discussions, and thought-provoking round-table discussions are expected to stimulate new ideas in the feld of new catalysts and novel materials.
The second meeting will be a logical extension of the first one since it will deal with the modification of the properties of the zeolitic solids by incorporation of guest species in the porosity. Interaction between a periodic framework and a variety of occluded species (e.g. Organic molecules, polymers, clusters and over-layers) is expected to allow the emergence of new exciting applications.