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Issue 2, 2015
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Alkane separation using nanoporous graphene membranes

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We studied the permeability of graphene sheets with designed nanopores using the classical molecular dynamics. To characterize the energy profile for transmission we calculated the potential of the mean force. A high selectivity for methane + butane mixture with the hydrogen-passivated pore diameter of 0.32 nm was found where the volume exclusion mechanism governs the separation process. In the case of a slightly larger pore diameter of 0.64 nm the same alkane mixture separates completely unexpectedly: a larger butane molecule permeates much faster than a small methane one. The blocking effect of the permeation path by a larger mixture component when it worked like a cork was also observed. This is a promising perspective for using graphene to design intelligent membranes which can maintain a constant composition of mixtures in the permeable area.

Graphical abstract: Alkane separation using nanoporous graphene membranes

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Article information

23 Jun 2014
10 Nov 2014
First published
11 Nov 2014

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2015,17, 1018-1024
Article type

Alkane separation using nanoporous graphene membranes

K. Nieszporek and M. Drach, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2015, 17, 1018
DOI: 10.1039/C4CP02745K

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