Separation of Light Hydrocarbons through Selective Molecular Exclusion by a Microporous Metal–Organic Framework

Hao Wang, Xin Long Wang, Jing Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


[Zn2(sdc)2(bpe)] (compound 1, sdc=4,4′-stilbenedicarboxylate, bpe=1,2-bis(4-pyridyl)ethane)), a doubly interpenetrated, pillared-layer microporous metal–organic framework has been solvothermally synthesized and structurally characterized by single-crystal X-ray diffraction. The structure features a common Zn2(COO)4 paddle-wheel building unit. Compound 1 undergoes structural change upon solvent removal. The activated phase (compound 2) displays permanent porosity, excellent thermal/moisture stability, and interesting hydrocarbon adsorption properties. Gas adsorption experiments show that compound 1 selectively adsorbs saturated/unsaturated C2 hydrocarbons but excludes C3 and C4 hydrocarbons at room temperature. We have collected single-component adsorption isotherms of six light hydrocarbons and calculated adsorption selectivities of various binary hydrocarbon mixtures by ideal adsorbed solution theory (IAST). The results show that compound 1 possesses remarkably high selectivity towards C2 over C3/C4 hydrocarbons and the separation is achieved by selective molecular exclusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)872-876
Number of pages5
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016



  • adsorption
  • hydrocarbon separation
  • metal–organic frameworks
  • microporous materials
  • noncovalent interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)

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