Volume 93 Issue 14 | p. 23 | Concentrates
Issue Date: April 6, 2015

Carbohydrate-Based Metal-Organic Frameworks Purify Petrochemicals

Porous compounds offer an environmentally friendly route to sorting out xylene isomers and other aromatic hydrocarbons
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Organic SCENE, Materials SCENE, JACS In C&EN
Keywords: xylenes, BTEX, cyclodextrin, metal organic framework, MOF

Of the chemical riches obtained when refining crude oil, the mixture of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene isomers known as BTEX poses a particular challenge. Because of their similar aromatic characteristics, the BTEX molecules can be tough to separate. But individually, the molecules are valuable feedstocks. p-Xylene, for example, is a precursor to the monomers that make polyethylene terephthalate, a common plastic. Researchers led by Northwestern University’s J. Fraser Stoddart report . . .

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