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Hydrolytically stable fluorinated metal-organic frameworks for energy-efficient dehydration

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Science  19 May 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6339, pp. 731-735
DOI: 10.1126/science.aam8310

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Drying natural gas efficiently

Natural gas must be purified before it can be transported. The preparation process also includes a drying step to remove water. Microporous adsorbents such as zeolites are used for this purpose, but they often need to be heated to temperatures up to 250°C to remove the water so that they can be reused. Cadiau et al. describe a fluorinated metal-organic framework containing nickel metal centers that can remove water from gas streams but that can be regenerated by heating to only 105°C.

Science, this issue p. 731

Abstract

Natural gas must be dehydrated before it can be transported and used, but conventional drying agents such as activated alumina or inorganic molecular sieves require an energy-intensive desiccant-regeneration step. We report a hydrolytically stable fluorinated metal-organic framework, AlFFIVE-1-Ni (KAUST-8), with a periodic array of open metal coordination sites and fluorine moieties within the contracted square-shaped one-dimensional channel. This material selectively removed water vapor from gas streams containing CO2, N2, CH4, and higher hydrocarbons typical of natural gas, as well as selectively removed both H2O and CO2 in N2-containing streams. The complete desorption of the adsorbed water molecules contained by the AlFFIVE-1-Ni sorbent requires relatively moderate temperature (~105°C) and about half the energy input for commonly used desiccants.

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