Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Reversed Ethane/Ethylene Adsorption in Metal-Organic Frameworks via Introduction of Oxygen



Ling Yang, Wei Zhou, Hao Li, Ali Alsalme, Litao Jia, Jinping Li, Libo Li, Banglin Chen


Separation of ethane from ethylene is a very important but challenging process in the petrochemical industry. Finding an alternative method would reduce the energy needed to make the 170 million tons of ethylene manufactured worldwide each year. Adsorptive separation using C2H6-selective porous materials to directly produce high-purity C2H4 is more energy-efficient. We herein report the "reversed" C2H^/C2H4 adsorption" in a metal-organic framework Cr-BTC via the introduction of oxygen on its open metal sites. The oxidized Cr-BTC(O2) can bind C2H6 over C2H4 through the active Cr-superoxo sites, which was elucidated by the gas sorption isotherms and density functional theory calculations. This material thus exhibits a good performance for the separation of 50/50 C2H6/C2H4 mixtures to produce 99.99% pure C2H4 in a single separation operation.
Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering


porous material, gas separation


Yang, L. , Zhou, W. , Li, H. , Alsalme, A. , Jia, L. , Li, J. , Li, L. and Chen, B. (2020), Reversed Ethane/Ethylene Adsorption in Metal-Organic Frameworks via Introduction of Oxygen, Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering, [online], (Accessed July 23, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created January 31, 2020, Updated October 12, 2021