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Ethane/Ethylene Separation in a Metal-Organic Framework with Iron-Peroxo Sites



Libo Li, Rui-Biao Lin, Rajamani Krishna, Hao Li, Shengchang Xiang, Hui Wu, Jinping Li, Wei Zhou, Banglin Chen


The separation of ethane from its corresponding ethylene is a very important challenging and energy-intensive process in the chemical industry. Herein we report a microporous metal-organic framework Fe2(O2)(dobdc) (dobdc4-: 2,5-dioxido-1,4-benzenedicarboxylate) with Fe-peroxo sites for the preferential binding of ethane over ethylene and thus highly selective separation of C2H6/C2H4. Neutron powder diffraction studies and theoretical calculations demonstrate the key role of E-peroxo sites for the recognition of ethane. The high performance of Fe2(O6d2^)(dobdc) for the ethane/ethylene separation has been validated by gas sorption isotherms, ideal adsorbed solution theory calculations, simulated and experimental breakthrough curves. Through a fixed-bed column packed with this porous material, polymer-grade of ethylene (99.99%) can be straightforwardly produced from ethane/ethylene mixtures during the first adsorption cycle, demonstrating its enormous potential for this very important industrial separation with low energy cost at ambient conditions.


Porous Materials, Gas Separation


Li, L. , Lin, R. , Krishna, R. , Li, H. , Xiang, S. , Wu, H. , Li, J. , Zhou, W. and Chen, B. (2018), Ethane/Ethylene Separation in a Metal-Organic Framework with Iron-Peroxo Sites, Science/AAAS, [online], (Accessed June 19, 2024)


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Created October 25, 2018, Updated October 12, 2021