Fructose to Sorbents: Synthesis of Metal–Organic Frameworks Directly from Biomass for Humid Shale Gas Separation

Yi-Ming Gu, Hai-Feng Qi, Salman Qadir, Xiaowei Liu, Tian-Jun Sun, Sheng-Sheng Zhao, Zhiping Lai, Shu-Dong Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The synthesis of metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) directly starting from biomass, making the most of renewable feedstocks and allowing for coupled or continuous processing, is intriguing. The interference of water (vapor) greatly hinders the wide utilization of MOFs in, e.g., recovering ethane from humid shale gas, which is a critical process for purifying natural gas in practical scenarios. Here, we propose a concept of direct ligand and MOF synthesis in a continuous routine, i.e., a linear synthesis of a bioderived ligand (furan-2,5-dicarboxylic acid), starting from a biomass source (fructose), followed by the in situ synthesis of a series of different MOFs. This strategy is also exempt from the tedious and energy-intensive processes of filtering, purifying, or drying intermediate products. The obtained renewable MOFs, particularly MIL-160(Al), reveal superior ethane capture abilities from shale gas mixtures under ambient conditions compared to most of the MOF materials reported to date. MIL-160(Al) also demonstrates a remarkable cycling nature and facile sorption regenerability to selectively capture ethane even under high-humidity conditions, as verified by static gas sorption measurement, experimental breakthrough tests, and in-depth theoretical studies, further conferring it with great potential for industrial applications.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering
StatePublished - Dec 13 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-12-15
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): URF/1/3769-01.
Acknowledgements: Y.-M.G., S.Q., T.-J.S., and S.-D.W. are grateful to the National Natural Science Foundation of China for funding (Grant No.
21776266) and Yangquan Coal Industry (Group) Co. LTD., China, for the financial support through the R&D project of “Upgrade of 300 Nm3 h−1 Low Concentration Coal Bed Methane by A Rapid Cycle Pressure Swing Adsorption Process”. X.-W.L. and Z.L. appreciate the support from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) for the competitive research grant URF/1/3769-01. The authors acknowledge Dr. Chang Wang and Dr. Pei-Fang Yan at the Division of Energy Research Resources, DICP, for their
support in structure measurement and water adsorption experiment as well as Dr. Ya-Hui Wang and Dr. Jing-Xu Li
for the help in DFT-D3 simulation and advanced mass spectrometer.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Chemistry


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