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Molecular sieve is a material which contains microscopic pores of a uniform and precise measurement which are used for the adsorbent of gases and liquids. The pore size discriminates based on particle size, so molecules that are small enough to pass through the pores are adsorbed while larger molecules are not (similar to size exclusion chromatography). Larger molecular simply are passed through with the phase solution, which in most cases is the actual substance of interest such as ethanol and the removal of water using a 3A molecular sieve, and the water is trapped in the pore until desorption can occur.


Molecular sieves consist of crystalline metal of aluminosilicate, clays, porous glasses, micro-porous charcoals, zeolites, active carbons, or synthetic compounds. Molecular sieves have a 3-dimensional interconnecting network of silica and alumina tetrahedra. Natural water of hydration is removed from this network by heating to produce uniform cavities which selectively adsorb molecules of a specific size.


Being able to distinguish materials on the basis of their size, a special class of molecular sieves with Alumino-silicates as skeletal composition may be crystalline, non-crystalline, para-crystalline or pillared clays they are highly crystalline materials variable framework charge with porous structure, anionic framework with micro-porous and crystalline structure


A 4 to 8-mesh sieve is normally used in gas-phase applications, while the 8 to 12-mesh type is common in liquid phase applications. They are measured in = Angstroms which to be simple is a size unit measured in molecular terms. The powder forms of the 3, 4, 5 and 13X sieves are suitable for specialized applications. Long known for their drying capacity (even to 90C), molecular sieves have recently demonstrated utility in synthetic organic procedures, frequently allowing isolation of desired products from condensation reactions that are governed by generally unfavorable equilibria. These synthetic zeolites have been shown to remove water, alcohols (including methanol and ethanol), and HCl from such systems as ketimine and enamine syntheses, ester condensations, and the conversion of unsaturated aldehydes to polyenals.

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