The separation of propane and propene by cryogenic distillation is one of the most energy-and cost-intensive industrial separation processes. Prof. Jing Li and her research group at  Rutgers University have discovered an alternative adsorption-based kinetic separation of propene and propane. They demonstrate, for the first time, that zeolite-like microporous metal organic frameworks (MMOFs) are capable of separating these two hydro-carbon species based on the significant difference in their diffusion rates (125:1). 

Chemical and petrochemical industry

This method is expected to be less expensive and more energy efficient than previous methods. 

Patent pending.

Recent Publications :

• Li, K. H.; Olson, D. H.; Seidel, J.; Emge, T. J.;Gong, H. W.; Zeng, H. P.; Li, J. “Zeolitic Imadazolate frameworks Capable of Kinetic Separation of Propane and Propene”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2009, 131, 10368-10369.

•Lan, A. J.; Li, K. H.; Wu, H. H.; Olson, D. H.; Emge, T. J.; Ki, W.; Hong, M. C.; Li, J. “A Luminescent Microporous Metal Organic Framework for the Fast and Reversible Detection of High Explosives”, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2009, 48, 2334-2338.

• Li, K. H.; Lee, J. Y.; Olson, D. H.; Bi, W. H.; Eibling, M. J.; Emge, T. J.; Li, J. “Unique Gas and Hydrocarbon Adsorption in A Highly  Porous Metal-Organic Framework Made of Extended Aliphatic Ligands”, Chem. Comm. 2008, 6123-6125.

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