Toward Separation and Purification of Olefins Using Dithiolene Complexes: An Electrochemical Approach

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Science  05 Jan 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5501, pp. 106-109
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5501.106

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The complex Ni[S2C2(CF3)2]2reacts with light olefins, including ethylene and propylene, selectively and reversibly. The reaction is not poisoned by hydrogen gas, carbon monoxide, acetylene, or hydrogen sulfide, which are commonly present in olefin streams, presumably because olefin binding occurs through the sulfur ligand rather than the metal center. The reversible reaction of olefins with Ni[S2C2(CN)2]2 n(n = 0, −1, −2) can be controlled electrochemically, where the oxidation state–dependent binding and release of olefins are fast on the electrochemical time scale. The observed tolerance to poisons and controllable electrochemical reactivity present an alternative approach to the separation of olefins from complex streams.

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