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

Amandine Cadiau, Karim Adil, Prashant Bhatt, Youssef Belmabkhout, Mohamed Eddaoudi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

774 Scopus citations


The chemical industry is dependent on the olefin/paraffin separation, which is mainly accomplished by using energy-intensive processes. We report the use of reticular chemistry for the fabrication of a chemically stable fluorinated metal-organic framework (MOF) material (NbOFFIVE-1-Ni, also referred to as KAUST-7). The bridging of Ni(II)-pyrazine square-grid layers with (NbOF5)2- pillars afforded the construction of a three-dimensional MOF, enclosing a periodic array of fluoride anions in contracted square-shaped channels. The judiciously selected bulkier (NbOF5)2- caused the looked-for hindrance of the previously free-rotating pyrazine moieties, delimiting the pore system and dictating the pore aperture size and its maximum opening. The restricted MOF window resulted in the selective molecular exclusion of propane from propylene at atmospheric pressure, as evidenced through multiple cyclic mixed-gas adsorption and calorimetric studies.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-140
Number of pages4
Issue number6295
StatePublished - Jul 7 2016

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): CCF/1/1972-02-01, CCF/1/1972-8-01
Acknowledgements: Research reported in this publication was solely performed in KAUST and exclusively supported by KAUST funds and the KAUST center collaborative funding grants CCF/1/1972-02-01 and CCF/1/1972-8-01. The data reported in the paper are presented in the supplementary materials. Crystal structures of NbOFFIVE-1-Ni collected at 100 K and room temperature are available free of charge from the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre under reference nos. CCDC 1477136 and 1447953. A.C., K.A., Y.B., M.E., and KAUST have filed provisional patent applications (4053-023PCT1 and 4053-024PCT1) that relate to highly stable fluorinated MOF absorbents as tunable platforms for gas/vapor separation.


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