ERC Advanced Grant

The ZEOLIghT project aims to master the defects and flexibility of nanozeolites by understanding the fundamental mechanisms of growth kinetics.
Defects are the key to transforming inert materials into active once.
Advances in understanding the flexibility and defects of nanozeolites will pave the way for the discovery of a wide variety of novel nanozeolites with original properties still unknown today.

Svetlana Mintova has been awarded with the ERC Advanced Grant in 2022.

This ERC Advanced Grant fellowship recognizes excellent researchers recognized as leaders for their achievements.

The support from the from ERC Advanced Grant (2.5 million euros) for 5 years will guarantee the development

of Svetlana Mintova’s project « ZEOLIghT: Dual challenges in the discovery and sustainability of nanozeolites by controlling defect sites and structural flexibility ».
Latest news

Pr. Svetlana Mintova gave a plenary talk entitled « Challenges and Opportunities in the Discovery and Sustainability of Nanozeolites » at the

5th Euro-Asia Zeolite Conference in Busan, Korea to present the ZEOLighT project.

About the same topic, Dr. Sajjad Ghojavand discussed the dynamic behavior of CO2 adsorption with a presentation on « Dynamic CO2/N2 separation using nanosized chabazite zeolite: combined experimental and theoretical study ».

ERC Advanced Grant ZEOLIghT

Dual challenges in the discovery and sustainability of nanozeolites: controlling defect sites and structural flexibility

Zeolites are a class of nanoporous crystalline inorganic materials that rank among the most versatile catalysts and are capable of facilitating the development of sustainable chemistry, separation and emerging processes.

The aim of ZEOLIghT is to understand the fundamental molecular-level interactions leading to specific crystallization events of nanozeolites to direct their properties. The three challenges are: 1. rational formation of molecularly-ordered precursors with different tetrahedral (T)-atoms, understanding the fundamentals of zeolite growth kinetics in colloidal and high solid precursors resulting in frameworks with controlled defects and flexible structures (Fundamental understanding of defects and flexibility of nanozeolites), 2. translate the discovery at the atomistic scale to development of novel nanozeolites and fine-tuning of relevant properties including crystals size, pore dimension, framework structure, bulk chemistry, and stability (Engineering nanozeolites), and  3. relate the defects and flexibility as the origin of the remarkable properties of ultra-stable zeolites for applications in heterogeneous catalysis: the selection of the non-oxidative conversion of methane reaction as a specific case, but not limited to, will be considered (Application). The mysterious “defects” associated with the generation of various silanol species, Brønsted acid sites, and vacancies as integral parts of the reaction center of zeolites and their relation to the framework flexibility will be elucidated by advanced characterization.

The ZEOLIghT project will be the fundamental scientific driver for seeking novel nanozeolites and fully realize the knowledge gained in global cases where porous materials are considered. The key achievements are understanding the properties of nanozeolites by uncovering the consequences of defects and flexibility. The nanozeolites will claim a sizeable share of the global zeolite market for both classical and emerging applications.

Marco-Giuseppe GELOSO


Marco is the firt PhD student to work on the ZEOLighT project.

Marco obtained his bachelor’s degree (2019) at the University of Calabria, under the supervision of Prof. Attilio Golemme and researcher Roberto Termine (CNR), with a study on mobility charges in columnar liquid crystals. He obtained his master’s degree (2021) at the same university, under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Maria Penelope De Santo and researcher Bruno Zappone (CNR), focusing on the development of nano-shaped surfaces to control the alignment of rod-like mesogens and induce the localised, systematic and predictable generation of topological defects. He currently works as a PhD student at the Laboratory of Catalysis and Spectrochemistry at the University of Normandy, CNRS, France.