Publication: Methane storage and hydrocarbon separation in tbo-MOFs

During my time in Kaust I have been involved in visualization project in collaboration with the Kaust VisLab.

With the great help of Daniel Acevedo and some of my colleagues my colleagues, I directed the creation of a video that explains one of the powerful design approach to design MOFs.

Besides this exciting video project, I really believe the sorption/separation studies presented in Hasnaa and Youssef’s paper, just accepted in RSC Advances are pretty interesting !

Soon available as pdf.

Go to the website


Equilibrium adsorption of methane (CH4), C2+ gases (ethane (C2H6), ethylene (C2H4), propane (C3H8), and propylene (C3H6)), and carbon dioxide (CO2) was measured on a series of tbo-MOFs (topological analogues of the prototypical MOF, HKUST-1, correspondingly dubbed tbo-MOF-1), which were developed via the supermolecular building layer (SBL) pillaring strategy. Specifically, tbo-MOF-2 and its isoreticular, functionalized analogue, tbo-MOF-2-{CH2O[Ph(CO2H)2]}2 (or tbo-MOF-3), which is characterized by pendant isophthalic acid moieties freely pointing into the cavities, were evaluated on the basis of potential use in methane storage and C2+/CH4 separation. The parent, tbo-MOF-2, showed high gravimetric and volumetric CH4 uptake, close to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) target for methane storage at 35 bar and room temperature. Though the presence of the pendant isophthalic acid moiety in the analogous compound, tbo-MOF-3, led to a decrease in total CH4 uptake, due mainly to the reduced size of the cavities, interestingly, it increased the affinity of the SBL-based tbo-MOF platform for propane, propene, ethane, and ethylene at low pressures compared with CH4, due additionally to the enhanced interactions of the highly polarizable light hydrocarbons with the isophthalic acid moiety. Using Ideal Adsorption Solution Theory (IAST), the predicted mixture adsorption equilibria for the C3H8/CH4, C3H6/CH4, C2H6/CH4, C2H4/CH4, and C3H8/CO2 systems showed high adsorption selectivity for C2+ over methane for tbo-MOF-3 compared with tbo-MOF-2. The high working storage capacity of tbo-MOF-2 and the high affinity of tbo-MOF-3 for C2+ over CH4 and CO2 make tbo-MOF an ideal platform for studies in gas storage and separation.


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