Topologically Guided Tuning of Zr-MOF Pore Structures for Highly Selective Separation of C6 Alkane Isomers


As an alternative technology to energy intensive distillations, adsorptive separation by porous solids offers lower energy cost and higher efficiency. Herein we report a topology-directed design and synthesis of a series of Zr-based metal-organic frameworks with optimized pore structure for efficient separation of C6 alkane isomers, a critical step in the petroleum refining process to produce gasoline with high octane rating. Zr₆O₄(OH)₄(bptc)₃ adsorbs a large amount of n-hexane but excluding branched isomers. The n-hexane uptake is similar to 70% higher than that of a benchmark adsorbent, zeolite-5A. A derivative structure, Zr₆O₄(OH)₈(-H₂O)₄(abtc)₂, is capable of discriminating all three C6 isomers and yielding a high separation factor for 3-methylpentane over 2,3-dimethylbutane. This property is critical for producing gasoline with further improved quality. Multicomponent breakthrough experiments provide a quantitative measure of the capability of these materials for separation of C6 alkane isomers. A detailed structural analysis reveals the unique topology, connectivity and relationship of these compounds.


Includes supplementary material


Carbon dioxide, Crystals--Structure, Porous materials, Hexane, Adsorption, Chemical engineering

U.S. Department of Energy through Grant no. DE-FG02-08ER-46491; U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231; Simons Foundation through Grant no. 391888; Russian Government (Grant 14.B25.31.0005); Russian Science Foundation (Grant no. 16-13-10158).


CC BY 4.0 (Attribution), ©2018