Adsorption of volatile hydrocarbons in iron polysulfide chalcogels

Ejaz Ahmed, Alexander Rothenberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We report the synthesis, characterization and possible applications of three new metal-chalcogenide aerogels KFe3Co3S 21, KFe3Y3S22 and KFe 3Eu3S22. Metal acetates react with the alkali metal polychalcogenides in formamide/water mixture to form extended polymeric frameworks that exhibit gelation phenomena. Amorphous aerogels obtained after supercritical CO2 drying have BET surface area from 461 to 573 m 2/g. Electron microscopy images and nitrogen adsorption measurements showed that pore sizes are found in micro (below 2 nm), meso (2-50 nm), and macro (above 50 nm) porous regions. These chalcogels possess optical bandgaps in the range of 1.55-2.70 eV. These aerogels have been studied for the adsorption of volatile hydrocarbons and gases. A much higher adsorption of toluene in comparison with cyclohexane and cyclopentane vapors have been observed. The adsorption capacities of the three volatile hydrocarbons are found in the following order: toluene > cyclohexane > cyclopentane. It has been observed that high selectivity in adsorption is feasible with high-surface-area metal chalcogenides. Similarly, almost an eight to ten times increase in adsorption selectivity towards CO2 over H2/CH4 was observed in the aerogels. Moreover, reversible ion-exchange properties for K+/Cs+ ions have also been demonstrated. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-82
Number of pages9
JournalMicroporous and Mesoporous Materials
StatePublished - Nov 2014

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: ICP-OES, CHN, Raman and UV-Vis/IR-spectroscopy measurements were carried out in the Analytical Core Lab at KAUST while electron microscope imaging work (TEM, SEM) was performed in the Advanced Nanofabrication, Imaging and Characterization Core Lab at KAUST. We wish to express our sincere gratitude to Dr. M. Shafaei-Fallah for her valuable suggestions in synthesis and gas adsorption studies. We are also grateful to Mr. Giulio Planu for his assistance in synthesis and Dr. V.Q. Wang for TEM images. This research was supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) baseline funding.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Adsorption of volatile hydrocarbons in iron polysulfide chalcogels'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this