Down-sizing the crystal size of ZK-5 zeolite for its enhanced CH4 adsorption and CH4/N2 separation performances

Jiangfeng Yang, Xuan Tang, Jiaqi Liu, Jun Wang, Hua Shang, Luogang Wu, Jinping Li, Shuguang Deng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Down-sizing zeolite crystals to achieve enhanced gas adsorption and separation performances is largely unexplored and underestimated. Nano-sized zeolite can expose more adsorption sites and shorten the diffusion path compared to micro-sized counterparts; however, the synthesis of Nano-sized zeolite is still very challenging. Herein, nano-sized ZK-5 is successfully prepared for the first time via the regulation effects of β-cyclodextrin. The crystal size of ZK-5 can be reduced from micron-size (3 μm) to nano-size (50–100 nm), thus the nano-ZK-5 exhibits a superior surface area (370 cm2 g−1) and pore volume (0.22 cm3 g−1) than the micron-sized sample (149 cm2 g−1 and 0.07 cm3 g−1), which may be due to the reduction in crystal size, which in turn leads to more micropores being detected. The CH4 adsorption capacity on nano-sized sample increased by 64% compared to that of micron-sized ZK-5. Notably, the record-high CH4 adsorption capacity of 1.34 mmol g−1 at 298 K is obtained on the nano-ZK-5 among the commercial zeolites. The equilibrium adsorption selectivity of CH4/N2 (20/80, v/v) mixed gas is as high as 4.2 (IAST method) at 1 bar and 298 K. The adsorption kinetics experiments have illustrated the boosted gas diffusion and mass transfer rate. Furthermore, the breakthrough experiments have confirmed the practical feasibility of separating various gas-mixtures, such as CH4/N2 (20/80, v/v).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number126599
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
StatePublished - Feb 15 2021


  • Adsorption
  • Nanoparticles
  • Separation
  • ZK-5
  • β-Cyclodextrin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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