Optimizing Pore Space for Flexible-Robust Metal-Organic Framework to Boost Trace Acetylene Removal

Jun Wang, Yan Zhang, Peixin Zhang, Jianbo Hu, Rui Biao Lin, Qiang Deng, Zheling Zeng, Huabin Xing, Shuguang Deng, Banglin Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


Isoreticular principle has been employed to realize a flexible-robust metal-organic framework (MOF) with extended pore structure for the adsorptive removal of trace acetylene from ethylene under ambient conditions. The substitution from zinc(II) to copper(II) of high coordination distortion leads to elongated Cu-F bonds that expand the closed pore cavities in the prototypical MOF from 3.5 × 3.9 × 4.1 to 3.6 × 4.3 × 4.2 Å3. The optimal cavity size together with strong binding sites thus endows the new Cu analogue to possess open pore space accessible for trace C2H2 within a substantial low-pressure range while excluding C2H4 molecules, as validated by gas isotherms and single-crystal structure of its partially C2H2-loading phase. In contrast to the Zn prototype, at 298 K and 1.0 bar, the guest-free Cu analogue shows significant C2H2 uptake increase with a total capacity of 4.57 mmol g-1, and gains an over two orders of magnitude jump in IAST selectivity for C2H2/C2H4 (1/99, v/v). These results are higher than the benchmark MOFs for molecular sieving of C2H2/C2H4, leading a high C2H4 productivity of 14.9 mmol g-1. Crystallography studies, molecular modeling, selectivity evaluation, and breakthrough experiments have comprehensively demonstrated this flexible-robust MOF as an efficient adsorbent for C2H2/C2H4 separation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9744-9751
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 27 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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