Journal of the American Chemical Society vol:130 issue:43 pages:14170-14178
The metal-organic framework MIL-53(Al) was tested for selective adsorption and separation of xylenes and ethylbenzene, ethyltoluenes, and cymenes using batch, pulse chromatographic, and breakthrough experiments. In all conditions tested, MIL-53 has the largest affinity for the ortho-isomer among each group of alkylaromatic compounds. Separations of the ortho-compounds from the other isomers can be realized using a column packed with MIL-53 crystallites. As evidenced by Rietveld refinements, specific interactions of the xylenes with the pore walls of MIL-53 determine selectivity. In comparison with the structurally similar metal-organic framework MIL-47, the selectivities among alkylaromatics found for MIL-53 are different. Separation of ethyltoluene and cymene isomers is more effective on MIL-53 than on MIL-47; the pores of MIL-53 seem to be a more suitable environment for hosting the larger ethyltoluene and cymene isomers than those of MIL-47.