Confinement of Ag(I) sites within MIL-101 for robust ethylene/ethane separation

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering


American Chemical Society


School of Engineering


Yin, Y., Zhang, Z., Xu, C., Wu, H., Shi, L., Wang, S., ... & Sun, H. (2019). Confinement of Ag (I) Sites within MIL-101 for robust ethylene/ethane separation. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 8(2), 823-830. https://doi.org/10.1021/acssuschemeng.9b04901


Effective utilization of Ag(I) π-complexation adsorbents for practical C2H4/C2H6 separation urges both good separating performances and high stabilities. In this work, we incorporated AgNO3 onto a typical metal-organic framework (MOF) of MIL-101 to obtain efficient Ag(I) π-complexation adsorbents. It was found that the separation performances were highly dependent on the location of the AgNO3, which could be at the interior or the exterior of nanoporous MIL-101. Confining AgNO3 inside the nanopores of MIL-101 was achieved through employing a double-solvent approach. The resulting AgM-DS adsorbents exhibited superior performances compared with not only pristine MIL-101 but also other modified samples with AgNO3 at the exterior of MIL-101. To be specific, the optimal 1.6AgM-DS adsorbent secured good C2H4/C2H6 separation, which is C2H4 uptake (75.5 cm3·g-1) and C2H4/C2H6 selectivity (9.5) at 100 kPa. For comparison, the C2H4 uptakes for MIL-101, 1.6AgM-WI, and 1.6AgM-SG were merely 48.1, 56.0, and 19.4 cm3·g-1, and the corresponding IAST selectivity was only 1.1, 8.1, and 1.8, respectively. It was further indicated that the 1.6AgM-DS adsorbent maintained good stability for 3 weeks, alleviating the light sensitivity of AgNO3. This work opens an avenue for constructing stable Ag(I) sites on MOFs to develop π-complexation adsorbents.