Metal-Organic Frameworks For Aromatic Hydrocarbon Separations

Tech ID: 24676 / UC Case 2015-082-0

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 10,118,877 11/06/2018 2015-082

Brief Description

Nearly all hydrocarbons are generated from petroleum or natural gas processing. Hydrocarbon mixtures are separated into component fractions at scale for the commercial production of fuels and chemical feedstocks. These large-scale systems use a lot of energy and require many sub-systems with expensive adsorbents or membrane materials like zeolites, polymers, metal oxides, and carbon. Since many of these hydrocarbon mixtures have molecules with similar structures, properties, and reactivities, many of the technical challenges and associated high costs remain. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) hold promise for efficient and complex separations based on their desirable surface areas, tunable pore geometries, and adjustable surface functionality. To help align MOFs with challenges in hydrocarbon separations, researchers at UC Berkeley have developed thermally robust and tunable MOF materials which are capable of separating mixtures of saturated, unsaturated, and aromatic hydrocarbons. The researchers have demonstrated the purification of a four component gas-phase mixture. 

Suggested uses

  • Industrial liquid- and gas-phase separation
  • Purification of individual components of aromatic hydrocarbons


  • Broad range of aromatic hydrocarbon separation applications
  • Thermally stable and tunable to pore shape and geometry
  • Reduces overall system energy requirements

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