Adsorption of ethane, ethylene, propane, and propylene on a magnesium-based metal-organic framework

Zongbi Bao, Sufian Alnemrat, Liang Yu, Igor Vasiliev, Qilong Ren, Xiuyang Lu, Shuguang Deng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

280 Scopus citations


Separation of olefin/paraffin is an energy-intensive and difficult separation process in petrochemical industry. Energy-efficient adsorption process is considered as a promising alternative to the traditional cryogenic distillation for separating olefin/paraffin mixtures. In this work, we explored the feasibility of adsorptive separation of olefin/paraffin mixtures using a magnesium-based metal-organic framework, Mg-MOF-74. Adsorption equilibria and kinetics of ethane, ethylene, propane, and propylene on a Mg-MOF-74 adsorbent were determined at 278, 298, and 318 K and pressures up to 100 kPa. A dual-site Sips model was used to correlate the adsorption equilibrium data, and a micropore diffusion model was applied to extract the diffusivities from the adsorption kinetics data. A grand canonical Monte Carlo simulation was conducted to calculate the adsorption isotherms and to elucidate the adsorption mechanisms. The simulation results showed that all four adsorbate molecules are preferentially adsorbed on the open metal sites where each metal site binds one adsorbate molecule. Propylene and propane have a stronger affinity to the Mg-MOF-74 adsorbent than ethane and ethylene because of their significant dipole moments. Adsorption equilibrium selectivity, combined equilibrium and kinetic selectivity, and adsorbent selection parameter for pressure swing adsorption processes were estimated. The relatively high values of adsorption selectivity suggest that it is feasible to separate ethylene/ethane, propylene/propane, and propylene/ethylene pairs in a vacuum swing adsorption process using Mg-MOF-74 as an adsorbent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13554-13562
Number of pages9
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 15 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Adsorption of ethane, ethylene, propane, and propylene on a magnesium-based metal-organic framework'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this