Pore chemistry and size control in hybrid porous materials for acetylene capture from ethylene

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Science  19 May 2016:
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf2458

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The trade-off between physical adsorption capacity and selectivity of porous materials is a major barrier for efficient gas separation and purification through physisorption. We report control over pore chemistry and size in copper coordination networks with SiF62- and organic linkers for the preferential binding and orderly assembly of acetylene molecules through cooperative host-guest and/or guest-guest interactions. The specific binding sites for acetylene are validated by modeling and neutron powder diffraction studies. The energies associated with these binding interactions afford high adsorption capacity (2.1 mmol/g at 0.025 bar) and selectivity (39.7 to 44.8) for acetylene at ambient conditions. Their efficiency for the separation of acetylene/ethylene mixtures is demonstrated by experimental breakthrough curves (0.73 mmol/g from 1/99 mixture).

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