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ChemSusChem

Microfluidic Separation of Ethylene and Ethane Using Frustrated Lewis Pairs.


PMID 26609918

Abstract

Separation of gaseous olefins and paraffins is one of the most important separation processes in the industry. Development of new cost-effective technologies aims at reducing the high energy consumption during the separation process. Here, we took advantage of the reaction of frustrated Lewis pairs (FLPs) with ethylene to achieve reactive extraction of ethylene from ethylene-ethane mixtures. The extraction was studied using a microfluidic platform, which enabled a rapid, high-throughput assessment of reaction conditions to optimize gas separation efficiency. A separation factor of 7.3 was achieved for ethylene from a 1:1 volume ratio mixture of ethylene and ethane, which corresponded to an extracted ethylene purity of 88 %. The results obtained in the microfluidic studies were validated using infrared spectroscopy. This work paves the way for further development of the FLPs and optimization of reaction conditions, thereby maximizing the separation efficiency of olefins from their mixtures with paraffins.

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