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Refinement of pore size at sub-angstrom precision in robust metal-organic frameworks for separation of xylenes

Li, Xiaolin, Wang, Juehua, Bai, Nannan, Zhang, Xinran, Han, Xue, da Silva, Ivan, Morris, Christopher G., Xu, Shaojun, Wilary, Damian M., Sun, Yinyong, Cheng, Yongqiang, Murray, Claire A., Tang, Chiu C., Frogley, Mark D., Cinque, Gianfelice, Lowe, Tristan, Zhang, Haifei, Ramirez-Cuesta, Anibal J., Thomas, K. Mark, Bolton, Leslie W., Yang, Sihai and Schröder, Martin 2020. Refinement of pore size at sub-angstrom precision in robust metal-organic frameworks for separation of xylenes. Nature Communications 11 (1) , 4280. 10.1038/s41467-020-17640-4

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Abstract

The demand for xylenes is projected to increase over the coming decades. The separation of xylene isomers, particularly p- and m-xylenes, is vital for the production of numerous polymers and materials. However, current state-of-the-art separation is based upon fractional crystallisation at 220 K which is highly energy intensive. Here, we report the discrimination of xylene isomers via refinement of the pore size in a series of porous metal–organic frameworks, MFM-300, at sub-angstrom precision leading to the optimal kinetic separation of all three xylene isomers at room temperature. The exceptional performance of MFM-300 for xylene separation is confirmed by dynamic ternary breakthrough experiments. In-depth structural and vibrational investigations using synchrotron X-ray diffraction and terahertz spectroscopy define the underlying host–guest interactions that give rise to the observed selectivity (p-xylene < o-xylene < m-xylene) and separation factors of 4.6–18 for p- and m-xylenes.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Chemistry
Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI)
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher: Nature Research
ISSN: 2041-1723
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 March 2021
Date of Acceptance: 6 July 2020
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2021 12:15
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/139574

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