PerspectiveChemistry

Molecular sieves for gas separation

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Science  08 Jul 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6295, pp. 121-122
DOI: 10.1126/science.aag2267

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Summary

Separation and purification are critical industrial processes for separating components of chemical mixtures, and these processes account for about half of industrial energy usage (1). Gas mixtures of compounds with very similar physical properties are particularly difficult to separate. On pages 137 and 141 of this issue, Cadiau et al. (2) and Cui et al. (3), respectively, show that microporous materials can be designed to have high adsorption capacity and selectivity for particular hydrocarbons, enabling energy-efficient separation.