The possibility of synthesizing molecular sieve zeolites in space permits one to take advantage of a micro-gravity environment. Particle settling and thermal convective currents can be avoided in space. Data from ground-based experiments are presented which suggest that large zeolite crystals can be produced in high yield in the microgravity environment of space. These experiments used triethanolamine (TEA) to suspend zeolite NaA nuclei in solution. This resulted in hindered settling and reduced the shear normally associated with settling. The average and maximum crystal sizes from these experiments are shown to be 50-100% larger than identical experiments with no TEA. Analysis of these data illustrate that there is an optimum TEA Al2O3 ratio.
- crystal growth