A thermodynamic tank model for studying the effect of higher hydrocarbons on natural gas storage in metal-organic frameworks

Hongda Zhang, Pravas Deria, Omar K. Farha, Joseph T Hupp, Randall Q. Snurr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are promising materials for storing natural gas in vehicular applications. Evaluation of these materials has focused on adsorption of pure methane, although commercial natural gas also contains small amounts of higher hydrocarbons such as ethane and propane, which adsorb more strongly than methane. There is, thus, a possibility that these higher hydrocarbons will accumulate in the MOF after multiple operating (adsorption/desorption) cycles, and reduce the storage capacity. To study the net effect of ethane and propane on the performance of an adsorbed natural gas (ANG) tank, we developed a mathematical model based on thermodynamics and mass balance equations that describes the state of the tank at any instant. The required inputs are the pure-component isotherms, and mixture adsorption data are calculated using the Ideal Adsorbed Solution Theory (IAST). We focused on how the "deliverable energy" provided by the ANG tank to the engine changed over 200 operating cycles for a sample of 120 MOF structures. We found that, with any MOF, the ANG tank performance monotonically declines during early operating cycles until a "cyclic steady state" is reached. We determined that the best materials when the fuel is 100% methane are not necessarily the best when the fuel includes ethane and propane. Among the materials tested, some top MOFs are MOF-143 > NU-800 > IRMOF-14 > IRMOF-20 > MIL-100 > NU-125 > IRMOF-1 > NU-111. MOF-143 is predicted to deliver 5.43 MJ L-1 of tank to the engine once the cyclic steady state is reached. The model also provided insights that can assist in future work to discover more promising adsorbent materials for natural gas storage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1501-1510
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy and Environmental Science
Volume8
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2015

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gas storage
Hydrocarbons
natural gas
Natural gas
thermodynamics
Metals
Thermodynamics
hydrocarbon
metal
Propane
Ethane
Methane
propane
ethane
methane
adsorption
Adsorption
engine
Engines
effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering

Cite this

A thermodynamic tank model for studying the effect of higher hydrocarbons on natural gas storage in metal-organic frameworks. / Zhang, Hongda; Deria, Pravas; Farha, Omar K.; Hupp, Joseph T; Snurr, Randall Q.

In: Energy and Environmental Science, Vol. 8, No. 5, 01.05.2015, p. 1501-1510.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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