Development and Assessment of Magnetic Fe2O3@MOF-74 Composite Sorbents for Ethylene/ethane Separation


Development of smart sorbents that can be regenerated when triggered by external stimuli such as magnetic field can overcome the poor energy utilization of the current sorbents investigated for light olefins/paraffins separation. In this work, we report the development of novel magnetic sorbents comprising of MOF-74 crystals and superparamagnetic Fe2O3 particles in a core–shell structure, and assessment of their C2H4/C2H6 separation performance. The electromagnetic properties of the materials were tuned by varying the Fe2O3 (Fex) loading (x = 1–20 wt%), and their effects on adsorption capacity, selectivity, and desorption rates were systematically investigated. The surface area, microporosity, and the C2H4/C2H6 selectivity of composites were reduced as the Fex content increased, while the specific heat absorption rate (SAR) was increased from 60 to 80 % upon varying the magnetic field intensity from 12.6 to 31.4 mT. On the basis of the SAR enhancement upon increasing the Fex loading, the C2H4 desorption rates were gradually increased with Fex up to 10 wt%, however beyond this composition a decline in the desorption rates was noted. Moreover, the cooling rate was found to be ∼76 % higher in induction heating compared to the conventional thermal heating method, which is expected to significantly shorten the cycle time, thereby reducing the column size and improving the throughput of the system. Our results highlight the importance of assessing the trade-offs between capture capacity and extent of responsiveness to magnetic field (i.e., temperature rise during regeneration) when developing smart sorbents. This work builds on previous studies that demonstrate the suitability of novel stimuli-responsive sorbents for next generation of olefin/paraffin separation systems.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering


Hadhramout Foundation, Grant None

Keywords and Phrases

C H /C H Separation 2 6 2 4; Composite Sorbent; Desorption Rate; Fe O @MOF-74 2 3; Induction Heating; Magnetic Field

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Article - Journal

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Final Version

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© 2023 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2023

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