The separation of molecules with close physical properties is a challenging task, commonly performed using the conventional low temperature fractional distillation technique which is recognized to be highly energy intensive. After more than 6 decades of revolutionary use of zeolites molecular sieves for separation of physically similar molecules within 1 Å difference in size, researchers from both academia and industry have been dedicating a lot of effort to push the limit of sieving separation to lower than 1 Å. The main purpose of this endeavour is to switch the separation of important isomers and commodities from distillation to more energy efficient adsorption or membranes technologies.
In the last 2 decades, major developments in Metal-Organic Frameworks was dedicated mainly to high surface area materials with large pores rather than molecular sieves with rigid or flexible small pores apertures. In my talk, I will illustrate the progress made at FMD3/KAUST in the development of tunable platforms with a variety of interesting intrinsic properties to target challenging separation of important isomers in petroleum and petrochemical industries. The optimal structural control at the molecular level of these particular platforms led to the discovery of new generations of MOF molecular sieves, to address challenging separations such as linear paraffin/mono-branched paraffin, mono-branched paraffin /disbranched paraffin and olefin-paraffin.
Level 0, between bld. 4 and 5
11:30 - 12:00