A Novel, Tailor-Made MOF for Exceptionally Efficient Separation of Propane and Propylene

Invention Summary:

Separating mixtures of propane and propylene is often challenging and energy intensive. In industrial settings this separation is typically performed by cryogenic distillation, requiring low temperature and/or pressure. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are emerging as promising low-energy alternatives to energy-intensive distillations, as their performance is often comparable to industrial benchmarks with a reduced energetic cost.

Researchers at Rutgers University have developed a novel MOF for efficient separation of propylene and propane by size-selective exclusion. The material adsorbs propylene while fully excluding propane, and has been demonstrated to produce polymer-grade propylene with a purity of 99.5%. The MOF is compatible with ambient processing yet exhibits excellent thermal and hydrothermal stability, and it can easily be substituted into existing industrial processing equipment.

Market Applications:

  • Industrial reactions requiring separation of mixtures of propylene and propane
  • Production of polymer-grade propylene (99.5% purity)


  • Low-energy; can be used at ambient temperature
  • Compatible with existing industrial processing equipment
  • Separation occurs by size exclusion adsorption
  • Facile and scalable synthesis
  • Excellent thermal and hydrothermal stability

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Patent pending. Available for licensing and/or research collaboration.

Patent Information:
Maricely Ramírez-Hernández
Licensing Manager
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Chemical and petrochemical industry