In contrast to high silica zeolites, it is difficult to obtain mesoporosity in zeolites with low Si/Al ratio (e.g., <20) via conventional NaOH-based treatment, making the obtainment of hierarchical zeolites with high acidity a challenging target. In this paper, we report the preparation of hierarchical FER-type zeolite at low Si/Al molar ratio (about 10) by postsynthesis etching involving a sequence of three treatments with NaAlO2, HCl, and NaOH solutions and investigate the effect of both NaAlO2 solution concentration and time of treatment on the textural properties. The obtained materials exhibit a mesoporous volume higher than the parent ferrierite with no significant effect on the sample acidity. The catalytic activity of some samples was investigated in vapour-phase methanol dehydration to dimethyl ether, revealing the superiority of hierarchical zeolites in terms of methanol conversion, although the presence of mesopores causes formation of light hydrocarbons at high temperatures.
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