Deep removal of trace C2H2 and CO2 from C2H4 by using customized potassium-exchange mordenite†
Adsorptive separation using porous materials is a promising approach for separating alkynes/olefins due to its energy efficiency, while the deep removal of trace amounts of C2H2 and CO2 from C2H4 is still very challenging for a commercial adsorbent. Herein, we report a low-cost inorganic metal cation-mediated mordenite (MOR) zeolite with the specific location and distribution of K+ cations acting as a goalkeeper for accurately controlling diffusion channels, as evidence of the experimental and simulation results. Deep purification of C2H4 from ternary CO2/C2H2/C2H4 mixtures was first realized on K–MOR with exceptional results, achieving a remarkable polymer-grade C2H4 productivity of 1742 L kg−1 for the CO2/C2H2/C2H4 mixture. Our approach which only involves adjusting the equilibrium ions, is both promising and cost-effective, and opens up new possibilities for the use of zeolites in the industrial light hydrocarbon adsorption and purification process.