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Direct Visualization of Supramolecular Binding and Separation of Light Hydrocarbons in MFM-300(In)

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posted on 2022-06-06, 13:10 authored by Lixia Guo, Mathew Savage, Joe H. Carter, Xue Han, Ivan da Silva, Pascal Manuel, Svemir Rudić, Chiu C. Tang, Sihai Yang, Martin Schröder
The purification of light olefins is one of the most important chemical separations globally and consumes large amounts of energy. Porous materials have the capability to improve the efficiency of this process by acting as solid, regenerable adsorbents. However, to develop translational systems, the underlying mechanisms of adsorption in porous materials must be fully understood. Herein, we report the adsorption and dynamic separation of C2 and C3 hydrocarbons in the metal–organic framework MFM-300­(In), which exhibits excellent performance in the separation of mixtures of ethane/ethylene and propyne/propylene. Unusually selective adsorption of ethane over ethylene at low pressure is observed, resulting in selective retention of ethane from a mixture of ethylene/ethane, thus demonstrating its potential for a one-step purification of ethylene (purity > 99.9%). In situ neutron powder diffraction and inelastic neutron scattering reveal the preferred adsorption domains and host–guest binding dynamics of adsorption of C2 and C3 hydrocarbons in MFM-300­(In).

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