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Chemistry Seminar: Gas Adsorption and Hydrocarbon Separations in Microporous Materials

Thursday, May 8, 2014

4:30 PM-6:00 PM

Craig M. Brown, NIST Center for Neutron Research


Title: Gas adsorption and hydrocarbon separations in microporous materials


Abstact: Adsorption of molecules in functionalized and high surface area microporous materials is of technological importance in a multitude of areas ranging from catalysis, drug delivery, chemical separations and energy storage to personal care products. Over the past several years we have focused our research efforts on understanding the properties of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) for storage and separations of industrially important small molecules. The properties of metal-organic frameworks can be tuned to optimize electrostatic interactions by exposing open metal cation sites, such as in Mg2(dobdc) (dobdc4–= 2,5-dioxido-1,4-benzenedicarboxylate). A material shown to be highly effective in the capture of CO2. The structurally related redox-active Fe2(dobdc) allows for the selective adsorption of O2 over N2 via an electron transfer mechanism. The same material is demonstrated to be effective for the separation of mixtures of C1 and C2 hydrocarbons, and for the high-purity separation of ethylene/ethane and propylene/propane mixtures. We will explore the details of materials that favor these interactions, and further compare them to zeolites currently employed in industry, detailing how structural features are possible within MOFs, but not in zeolites, so enabling fractionation of hexane isomers according to the degree of branching.

Contact Information

Prof. Frank Ji