Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Novel Filter Material Could Cut Natural Gas Refining Costs

Iron projecting into the pore of the tubelike metal-organic framework (center, looking down its roughly nanometer-wide opening) attracts the light hydrocarbon molecules that surround it to varying degrees. These varied attraction levels could make the framework more efficient at hydrocarbon separation than current refinery processes.
Credit: Queen/NIST
Iron projecting into the pore of the tubelike metal-organic framework (center, looking down its roughly nanometer-wide opening) attracts the light hydrocarbon molecules that surround it to varying degrees. These varied attraction levels could make the framework more efficient at hydrocarbon separation than current refinery processes.

Credit: Queen/NIST

Abstract:
Measurements taken by a team including National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) scientists show that a newly devised material has the ability to separate closely related components of natural gas from one another, a task that currently demands a good deal of energy to accomplish. The results, published March 30, 2012, in the journal Science, might improve the efficiency of the distillation process.

Novel Filter Material Could Cut Natural Gas Refining Costs

Gaithersburg, MD | Posted on April 2nd, 2012

The material is a new type of metal-organic framework (MOF), a class of materials whose high surface area and tunable properties make them promising for applications as varied as gas storage, catalysis and drug delivery. This particular iron-based MOF, which the research team refers to as Fe-MOF-74, was built in the lab of Jeffrey Long, a professor of chemistry at the University of California Berkeley, and analyzed by the team at NIST and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation's Bragg Institute.

Natural gas taken straight from the ground consists of a complex mixture of molecules called hydrocarbons, only some of which are needed for use in any specific product such as fuel or plastic. Separating the lighter types of hydrocarbon from one another—propane and ethylene, for example—is difficult because their weights are so similar. Currently, the most effective separation method involves chilling light hydrocarbons down to the point where they

all liquefy, sometimes as low as 100 degrees below zero Celsius, and waiting until the heavier liquids settle below the lighter ones.

"A good percentage of the energy needed for separation goes to the cooling process," says Wendy Queen, a postdoctoral fellow at the NIST Center for Neutron Research. "A material that can selectively adsorb light hydrocarbons could offer significant energy savings, making separation more economical."

Through a microscope, Fe-MOF-74 looks like a collection of narrow tubes packed together like drinking straws in a box. Each tube is made of organic materials and six long strips of iron, which run lengthwise along the tube. The team's analysis shows that different light hydrocarbons have varied levels of attraction to the tubes' iron, a finding that can be exploited for separation. By passing a mixed-hydrocarbon gas through a series of filters made of the tubes, the hydrocarbon with the strongest affinity can be removed in the first filter layer, the next strongest in the second layer, and so forth.

"It works well at 45 degrees Celsius, which is closer to the temperature of hydrocarbons at some points in the distillation process," Queen says. "The upshot is that if we can bring the MOF to market as a filtration device, the energy-intensive cooling step potentially can be eliminated. We are now trying out metals other than iron in the MOF in case we can find one that works even better."

* E.D. Bloch, W.L. Queen, R.Krishna, J.M. Zadrozny, C.M. Brown and J.R. Long. Hydrocarbon separations in a metal-organic framework with open Iron(II) coordination sites. Science, March 30, 2012. DOI:\10.1126\science.1217544

####

About National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Chad Boutin
301-975-4261

Copyright © National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Laboratories

Sandia researchers make solid ground toward better lithium-ion battery interfaces: Reducing the traffic jam in batteries December 13th, 2017

Perking up and crimping the 'bristles' of polyelectrolyte brushes December 13th, 2017

News and information

Sandia researchers make solid ground toward better lithium-ion battery interfaces: Reducing the traffic jam in batteries December 13th, 2017

Perking up and crimping the 'bristles' of polyelectrolyte brushes December 13th, 2017

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure: Researchers are the first to observe the electronic structure of graphene in an engineered semiconductor; finding could lead to progress in advanced optoelectronics and data processing December 13th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Sandia researchers make solid ground toward better lithium-ion battery interfaces: Reducing the traffic jam in batteries December 13th, 2017

Perking up and crimping the 'bristles' of polyelectrolyte brushes December 13th, 2017

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure: Researchers are the first to observe the electronic structure of graphene in an engineered semiconductor; finding could lead to progress in advanced optoelectronics and data processing December 13th, 2017

Wheat gets boost from purified nanotubes: Rice University toxicity study shows plant growth enhanced by -- but only by -- purified nanotubes December 6th, 2017

Discoveries

Sandia researchers make solid ground toward better lithium-ion battery interfaces: Reducing the traffic jam in batteries December 13th, 2017

Perking up and crimping the 'bristles' of polyelectrolyte brushes December 13th, 2017

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure: Researchers are the first to observe the electronic structure of graphene in an engineered semiconductor; finding could lead to progress in advanced optoelectronics and data processing December 13th, 2017

Untangling DNA: Researchers filter the entropy out of nanopore measurements December 8th, 2017

Materials/Metamaterials

Creating a new kind of metallic glass December 7th, 2017

Copper will replace toxic palladium and expensive platinum in the synthesis of medications: The effectiveness of copper nanoparticles as a catalyst has been proven December 5th, 2017

Chinese market opens up for Carbodeon nanodiamonds: Carbodeon granted Chinese Patent for Nanodiamond-containing Thermoplastic Thermal Compounds December 4th, 2017

Scientists make transparent materials absorb light December 1st, 2017

Announcements

Sandia researchers make solid ground toward better lithium-ion battery interfaces: Reducing the traffic jam in batteries December 13th, 2017

Perking up and crimping the 'bristles' of polyelectrolyte brushes December 13th, 2017

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure: Researchers are the first to observe the electronic structure of graphene in an engineered semiconductor; finding could lead to progress in advanced optoelectronics and data processing December 13th, 2017

Leti to Demo Wristband with Embedded Sensors to Diagnose Sleep Apnea: APNEAband, Which Will Be Demonstrated at CES 2018, Also Monitors Mountain Sickness, Dehydration, Dialysis Treatment Response and Epileptic Seizures December 12th, 2017

Energy

Inorganic-organic halide perovskites for new photovoltaic technology November 6th, 2017

Dendritic fibrous nanosilica: all-in-one nanomaterial for energy, environment and health November 4th, 2017

New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater: Hybrid material converts more sunlight and can weather seawater's harsh conditions October 4th, 2017

Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells September 22nd, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project