American Chemical Society
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Efficient Exploration of Adsorption Space for Separations in Metal–Organic Frameworks Combining the Use of Molecular Simulations, Machine Learning, and Ideal Adsorbed Solution Theory

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posted on 2023-09-14, 19:10 authored by Xiaohan Yu, Dai Tang, Jia Yuan Chng, David S. Sholl
Adsorption-based separations using metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) are promising candidates for replacing common energy-intensive separation processes. The so-called adsorption space formed by the combination of billions of possible molecules and thousands of reported MOFs is vast. It is very challenging to comprehensively evaluate the performance of MOFs for chemical separation through experiments. Molecular simulations and machine learning (ML) have been widely applied to make predictions for adsorption-based separations. Previous ML approaches to these issues were typically limited to smaller molecules and often had poor accuracy in the dilute limit. To enable exploration of a wider adsorption space, we carefully selected a diverse set of 45 molecules and 335 MOFs and generated single-component isotherms of 15,075 MOF–molecule pairs by grand canonical Monte Carlo. Using this database, we successfully developed accurate (r2 > 0.9) machine learning models predicting adsorption isotherms of diverse molecules in large libraries of MOFs. With this approach, we can efficiently make predictions of large collections of MOFs for arbitrary mixture separations. By combining molecular simulation data and ML predictions with Ideal Adsorbed Solution Theory, we tested the ability of these approaches to make predictions of adsorption selectivity and loading for challenging near-azeotropic mixtures.