Molecular recognition and adsorptive separation of m-xylene by trianglimine crystals†
The separation of xylene isomers is one of the most challenging tasks in the petrochemical industry. Herein, we developed an efficient adsorptive molecular sieving strategy using crystalline trianglimine macrocycle (1) to separate the elusive m-xylene isomer from an equimolar xylenes mixture with over 91% purity. The selectivity is attributed to the capture of the preferred guest with size/shape selectivity and C–H⋯π interactions. Moreover, the trianglimine crystals are readily recyclable due to the reversible transformation between the guest-free and guest-loaded structures.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Green Synthesis