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A Rod-Packing Hydrogen-Bonded Organic Framework with Suitable Pore Confinement for Benchmark Ethane/Ethylene Separation



Xu Zhang, Jia-Xin Wang, Libo Li, Jiyan Pei, Rajamani Krishna, Hui Wu, Wei Zhou, Guodong Qian, Bin Li, Banglin Chen


The discovery of new materials for separating ethane (C2H6) from ethylene (C2H4) by adsorption is a critical enterprise in the chemical industry. It still remains as a daunting challenge to target both high C2H6 adsorption capacity and gas selectivity in a single C2H6-selective material. Herein, we report a reversible solid-state transformation in a labile hydrogen-bonded organic framework to generate a new rod-packing desolvated framework (termed as ZJU-HOF-1a), leading to the suitable pore/cavity spaces (4.6 Å) and functional surfaces to optimally interact with C2H6. ZJU-HOF-1a thus exhibits an exceptionally preferential adsorption of C2H6 over C2H4 with simultaneously high C2H6 uptake (88 cm3 g^-1^ at 0.5 bar and 298 K) and C2H6/C2H4 selectivity (2.25), notably higher than HOF-76a and most of C2H6-selective materials. Theoretical calculations reveal that the suitable cage-like cavities and functional sites to synergistically "match" better with C2H6 molecule than C2H4 provide overall stronger multipoint interactions with C2H6. In combination with highly chemical stability and ultralow water uptake, this material can efficiently capture C2H6 from 50/50 (v/v) C2H6/C2H4 mixtures at ambient conditions under 60% relative humidity, providing a record polymer-grade C2H4 productivity of 21.9 L/kg, as evidenced through the experimental breakthrough curves.
Angewandte Chemie-International Edition


Porous material, Hydrogen bonding, Gas separation


Zhang, X. , Wang, J. , Li, L. , Pei, J. , Krishna, R. , Wu, H. , Zhou, W. , Qian, G. , Li, B. and Chen, B. (2021), A Rod-Packing Hydrogen-Bonded Organic Framework with Suitable Pore Confinement for Benchmark Ethane/Ethylene Separation, Angewandte Chemie-International Edition, [online], (Accessed July 16, 2024)


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Created April 26, 2021, Updated November 29, 2022