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An Ideal Molecular Sieve for Acetylene Removal from Ethylene with Record Selectivity and Productivity



Bin Li, Xili Cui, Dan O'Nolan, Hui-Min Wen, Mengdie Jiang, Rajamani Krishna, Hui Wu, Rui-Biao Lin, Yu-Sheng Chen, Daqiang Yuan, Huabin Xing, Wei Zhou, Qilong Ren, Guodong Qian, Michael J. Zaworotko, Banglin Chen


Realization of ideal molecular sieves, in which the larger gas molecules are completely blocked without sacrificing high adsorption capacities of the preferred smaller gas molecules, can significantly reduce energy costs for gas separation and purification, and thus facilitate a possible technological transformation from the traditional energy-intensive cryogenic distillation to the energy-efficient adsorbent-based separation and purification of the most widely used raw chemicals such as ethylene (C2H4) and propylene (C3H6) in the future. ^1-3^ Although extensive research endeavors have been pursued to target ideal molecular sieves among diverse porous materials including zeolites, carbon molecular sieves (CMS), metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and covalent-organic frameworks (COFs) over the past several decades, ideal molecular sieves for separation and purification of light hydrocarbons have yet to be demonstrated. Herein we report the first example of ideal porous materials SIFSIX-14-Cu-i (also termed as UTSA-200) with ultra-fine-tuning of pore size (3.4 angstrom}A)as molecular sieves to effectively block C2H4 molecules but to take up a record-high amount of acetylene (C2H2, 58 cm3 cm-3 under 0.01 bar and 298K) attributed to the strong binding sites on the pore surfaces towards C2H2. The material therefore sets up new benchmarks for both the adsorption capacity and selectivity, and thus provides the record purification capacity for removal of trace C2H4 with 1.18 millimoles per gram C2H2 uptake capacity from a 1/99 C2H2/C2Y4 mixture to produce 99.9999% pure C2H4, as demonstrated by experimental breakthrough curves.
Advanced Materials


metal organic framework, gas separation


Li, B. , Cui, X. , O'Nolan, D. , Wen, H. , Jiang, M. , Krishna, R. , Wu, H. , Lin, R. , Chen, Y. , Yuan, D. , Xing, H. , Zhou, W. , Ren, Q. , Qian, G. , Zaworotko, M. and Chen, B. (2017), An Ideal Molecular Sieve for Acetylene Removal from Ethylene with Record Selectivity and Productivity, Advanced Materials, [online], (Accessed July 14, 2024)


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Created December 19, 2017, Updated October 12, 2021