Zeolite N is a synthetic zeolite of the EDI framework family from the more than 200 known zeolite types. Previous experimental laboratory and field data show that zeolite N has a high capacity for exchange of ions. Computational modelling and simulation techniques are effective tools that help explain the atomic-scale behaviour of zeolites under different processing conditions and allow comparison with experiment. In this study, the ion exchange behaviour of synthetic zeolite N in an aqueous environment is investigated by molecular dynamics simulations. The exchange mechanism of K+
extra-framework cations with alkaline and alkaline-earth cations NH4+
is explored in different crystallographic directions inside the zeolite N structure. Moreover, the effect of different framework partial charges on MD simulation results obtained from different DFT calculations are examined. The results show that the diffusion and exchange of cations in zeolite N are affected by shape and size of channels controlling the ion exchange flow as well as the nature of cation, ionic size and charge density.
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