Low-field NMR relaxation-exchange measurements for the study of gas admission in microporous solids†
Understanding the uptake and storage of gases by microporous materials is important for our future energy security. As such, we demonstrate here the application of two-dimensional NMR relaxation experiments for probing the admission and corresponding exchange dynamics of methane within microporous zeolites. Specifically, we report low-field (12.7 MHz) 1H NMR relaxation-exchange correlation measurements of methane within commercial LTA zeolites (3A and 4A) at 25 and 35 bar and ambient temperature. Our results demonstrate the clear identification of bulk–pore and pore–pore exchange processes within zeolite 4A, facilitating the calculation and comparison of effective exchange rate dynamics across varying diffusion length scales and gas pressures. Additional data acquired for zeolite 3A reveals the sensitivity of NMR relaxation phenomena to size-exclusive gas admission phenomena, illustrating the potential of benchtop NMR protocols for material screening applications.