Efficient separation of propane and propene by a hypercrosslinked polymer doped with Ag(i)†
Porous hypercrosslinked polymers (HCPs) are attractive for large-scale separations because they are inexpensive, robust, scalable, and easy to functionalize. Here, we describe a series of microporous HCPs that were derivatized with sulfonic acid groups, then doped with silver (Ag(I)). The Ag-doped HCPs show a high selectivity towards olefins over paraffins, which is one of the most energy-intensive separations in the chemical industry. The separation capability of the HCP can be enhanced by fine-tuning the amount of Ag(I) in the HCP. Breakthrough measurements confirm excellent separation of propane and propene under flow conditions at 298 K and at 318 K. Metal-doped HCPs might lead in the future to a large energy savings compared to other energy-intensive gas separation methods such as distillation.