Highly selective adsorption of p-xylene over other C8 aromatic hydrocarbons by Co-CUK-1: a combined experimental and theoretical assessment†
High quality crystalline Co-CUK-1 can be synthesized rapidly and efficiently by a microwave-assisted method. The resulting microporous coordination material is a highly effective adsorbent for the separation of xylene isomers and ethylbenzene, as demonstrated here through sorption isotherm analysis, Ideal Adsorbed Solution Theory (IAST) calculations, and grand canonical Monte Carlo (GCMC) simulations. Co-CUK-1 showed high sorption capacity and high adsorption selectivity for p-xylene over the corresponding m- and o-isomers, and ethylbenzenes. According to the data obtained from IAST and GCMC simulations, the Co-CUK-1 is found to strongly favour p-xylene adsorption because p-xylene molecules undergo well-defined molecular packing in the 1-D channels; by comparison, the packing efficiencies of o-xylene, m-xylene and ethylbenzene are significantly lower, as is evidenced by lower saturation capacities.