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Research Article

Robust ultra-microporous metal-organic frameworks for highly efficient natural gas purification

Li Zhao1Pengxiao Liu1Chenghua Deng2,4Ting Wang2Sha Wang2Yong-Jun Tian1Jin-Sheng Zou1Xue-Cui Wu1Ying Zhang6Yun-Lei Peng1,3,5( )Zhenjie Zhang2( )Michael J. Zaworotko4
Department of Applied Chemistry, College of Science, China University of Petroleum (Beijing), Beijing 102249, China
College of Chemistry, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China
State Key Laboratory of Heavy Oil Processing, China University of Petroleum (Beijing), Beijing 102249, China
Department of Chemical Sciences, Bernal Institute, University of Limerick, Limerick V94T9PX, Republic of Ireland
Basic Research Centre for Energy Interdisciplinary, China University of Petroleum (Beijing), Beijing 102249, China
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, College of New Energy and Materials, China University of Petroleum (Beijing), Beijing 102249, China
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Graphical Abstract

Three isomorphic ultra-microporous metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) (M-pyz, where M = Co, Ni, and Fe, and pyz = pyrazine) with high-density open metal sites and suitable pore structure were synthesized by green and rapid method, exhibiting remarkable selectivity adsorption capacity for ethane and propane, demonstrating potential for natural gas purification.

Abstract

The development of highly efficient separation technology for the purification of natural gas by removing ethane (C2H6) and propane (C3H8) is a crucial but challenging task to their efficient utilization in the chemical industry and social life. Here, we report three isomorphic ultra-microporous metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), M-pyz (M = Fe, Co, and Ni, and pyz = pyrazine) referred to as Fe-pyz, Co-pyz, and Ni-pyz, respectively, which possess high density of open metal sites and suitable pore structure. Compared with the benchmark materials reported, M-pyz not only has high adsorption capacities of C2H6 and C3H8 at low pressure (up to 51.6 and 63.7 cm3·cm−3), but also exhibits excellent C3H8/CH4 and C2H6/CH4 ideal adsorption solution theory (IAST) selectivities, 111 and 25, respectively. Theoretical calculations demonstrated that the materials’ separation performance was driven by multiple intermolecular interactions (hydrogen bonding interactions and van der Waals effect) between gas molecules (C2H6 and C3H8) and the M-pyz binding sites. And, dynamic breakthrough experiments verified the superior reusability and practical separation feasibility for the ternary CH4/C2H6/C3H8 mixtures. Furthermore, M-pyz can be synthesized rapidly and on a large scale at room temperature. This work presents a series of promising MOFs adsorbents to efficiently purify natural gas and promotes the industrial development process of MOFs materials.

Nano Research
Pages 12338-12344
Cite this article:
Zhao L, Liu P, Deng C, et al. Robust ultra-microporous metal-organic frameworks for highly efficient natural gas purification. Nano Research, 2023, 16(10): 12338-12344. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12274-023-6072-5
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Received: 26 June 2023
Revised: 26 July 2023
Accepted: 07 August 2023
Published: 27 September 2023
© Tsinghua University Press 2023
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