The synthetic conditions of highly ordered and thermally stable mesoporous molecular sieves from a layered silicate kanemite are established. We divided the formation process of the mesoporous materials from kanemite into two elemental processes: i) exchange of Na+ in the interlayer of kanemite for alkyltrimethylammonium cations and ii) condensation of silicates and formation of a three dimensional silicate framework. Higher pH (over 11.5) at the cation-exchange process and the subsequent pH adjustment at 8.5 at the condensation process were best suited for the formation of mesoporous products with high regularity and thermal stability. Removal of partially dissolved kanemite during the cation-exchange process avoided the formation of amorphous materials as a by-product. Structures of some intermediate silicate/surfactant complexes supported the proposed folded sheets mechanism for the formation of the mesoporous molecular sieves. Syntheses by using alkyltrimethylammonium with different alkyl-chain lengths are also reported.
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