Adsorption of Ethane and Ethylene over 3D-Printed Ethane-Selective Monoliths


The use of paraffin-selective adsorbents in separation of paraffin/olefin pairs has been recently demonstrated as a sustainable platform for recovering a highly pure olefin product directly from the adsorption step. These materials allow for development of a less expensive and economically attractive technology for olefin/paraffin separation. Herein, we report formulation of paraffin-selective adsorbents into monolithic contactors and evaluation of their adsorptive performance in ethane/ethylene separation. More specifically, Ni(bdc)(ted)0.5 and ZIF-7 were used as ethane-selective adsorbents for development of monoliths via 3D printing. Their formulation was optimized according to printability of the extruded paste and mechanical stability of the final monolith piece. Through equilibrium and dynamic adsorption experiments, it was demonstrated that formulation of the adsorbents into monoliths does not adversely affect their separation efficiency, and the monoliths exhibit uptakes proportional to the adsorbent loading and comparable to those of their powder analogues. Application of the ideal adsorption solution theory method predicted C2H6/C2H4 selectivities in the ranges 1.9-11.8 and 1.2-2.0 for ZIF-7 and Ni(bdc)(ted)0.5 monoliths, respectively. The findings of this study highlight the feasibility of 3D printing as a facile and cost-effective approach in shaping paraffin-selective adsorbents into practical contactors.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering


Article in Press

Keywords and Phrases

3D-printed monolith; Adsorption; Ethane/ethylene separation; MOF; ZIF

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2018 American Chemical Society (ACS), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Oct 2018