ReportsChemistry

A metal-organic framework–based splitter for separating propylene from propane

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Science  08 Jul 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6295, pp. 137-140
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf6323

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Separating one organic from another

Separating closely related organic molecules is a challenge (see the Perspective by Lin).The separation of acetylene from ethylene is needed in high-purity polymer production. Cui et al. developed a copper-based metal-organic framework with hexafluorosilicate and organic linkers designed to have a high affinity for acetylene. These materials, which capture four acetylene molecules in each pore, successfully separated acetylene from mixtures with ethylene. Propane and propylene are both important feedstock chemicals. Their physical and chemical similarity, however, requires energy-intense processes to separate them. Cadiau et al. designed a fluorinated porous metal-organic framework material that selectively adsorbed propylene, with the complete exclusion of propane.

Science, this issue pp. 141 and 137; see also p. 121