Separation of ethyltoluene isomers by nonporous adaptive crystals of perethylated and perbromoethylated pillararenes

M. Wang, S. Fang, S. Yang, Q. Li, Niveen M. Khashab, J. Zhou, F. Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The separation of p-ethyltoluene (PET) and m-ethyltoluene (MET) is one of the most challenging steps to isolate PET from C9 aromatic compounds due to their very close boiling points. Many kinds of separation methods have been developed, but they involve low efficiency and great energy consumption. Herein, we investigate the adsorptive properties of perethylated pillar[5]arene (EtP5), perethylated pillar[6]arene (EtP6), perbromoethylated pillar[5]arene (BrP5) and perbromoethylated pillar[6]arene (BrP6) for ethyltoluene isomers. Results show that EtP6 and BrP5 crystals separate PET from a PET/MET equimolar mixture with purities of 95.4% and 92.0%, respectively. Both of them show no decrease in selectivity upon cycling for 5 times. Relatively, EtP5 and BrP6 crystals fail in this separation due to poor PET capture ability and low selectivity, respectively.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100919
JournalMaterials Today Chemistry
StatePublished - May 10 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-05-17
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): OSR-2019-CRG8-4032
Acknowledgements: Supported by National Key Research and Development Program of China (2021YFA0910100), National Natural Science Foundation of China (22035006), Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (LD21B020001), the Starrys Night Science Fund of Zhejiang University Shanghai Institute for Advanced Study (SN-ZJU-SIAS-006), and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Office of Sponsored Research (OSR-2019-CRG8-4032).


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