Carbon nanotube supported oriented metal organic framework membrane for effective ethylene/ethane separation

Ruicong Wei, Xiaowei Liu, Zongyao Zhou, Cailing Chen, Youyou Yuan, Zhen Li, Xiang Li, Xinglong Dong, Dongwei Lu, Yu Han, Zhiping Lai

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3 Scopus citations


Zeolitic imidazolate framework 8 (ZIF-8) is effective for C3H6/C3H8 separation because of the “sieving effect” of a six-membered (6-M) window. Here, we demonstrate that ZIF-8 is a versatile material that could effectively separate C2H4 from C2H6 via its 4-M window along the direction. We established a facile and environmentally friendly carbon nanotube (CNT)–induced oriented membrane (CNT-OM) approach to fabricate a {100}-oriented ZIF-8 membrane (100-M). In this approach, 2-methyimidazole was anchored onto the CNT surface followed by 3-hour in situ growth in aqueous solution at room temperature. The obtained 100-M, whose 4-M window is aligned along the transport pathway, showed ~3 times higher C2H4/C2H6 selectivity than a randomly oriented membrane. Thus, this work demonstrates that the membrane orientation plays an important role in tuning selectivity toward different gas pairs. Furthermore, 100-M exhibited excellent mechanical stability that could sustain the separation performance after bending at a curvature of ~109 m−1.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalScience Advances
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 16 2022

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