Research highlight

Parting the gases

Nature Communications

February 23, 2011

A microporous metal-organic framework material that can separate ethylene and acetylene is reported in Nature Communications this week. Separation of these two compounds is an important industrial process but existing methods are both expensive and energy consuming.

Banglin Chen, Mark Thomas and co-workers produced tuneable microporous metal-organic frameworks that can efficiently separate similarly-sized molecules, suggesting potential practical adsorption-based separation of acetylene and ethylene. They hope that their findings will lead to cheaper and faster technology to separate these widely-used mass-produced chemicals.

doi: 10.1038/ncomms1206

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