Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 53, Issue 12, pp 8866–8877 | Cite as

Anionic NbO-type copper organic framework decorated with carboxylate groups for light hydrocarbons separation under ambient conditions

  • Xiuping Liu
  • Xue Li
  • Jing Li
  • Guixia Li
  • Sheng Guo
  • Houyu Zhu
  • Lianming Zhao
  • Chunlian Hao
  • Wenyue Guo
Chemical routes to materials


Light hydrocarbons are important raw materials for industrial products and fine chemicals. The storage and separation of C1–C3 hydrocarbons are vital to their practical use. Here, we report efficient C1–C3 hydrocarbon adsorption and separation with a NbO-type anionic copper metal–organic framework with uncoordinated –COO groups ([Cu2(L)·(H2O)2]·2H2O·3DMA·(CH3)2NH2) (1). Complex 1 exhibited large C2H2 (190 cm3 g−1), C2H4 (147 cm3 g−1), C2H6 (156 cm3 g−1), C3H6 (170 cm3 g−1), and C3H8 (173 cm3 g−1) uptakes and high selectivities for C2H2/CH4 (32.3), C3H6/CH4 (152), and C3H8/CH4 (127) under ambient conditions. The excellent cycling performance of the material was reflected by only 9.2 and 10.9% losses of the C2H2 and C3H6 storage capacities even after ten cycles of adsorption–desorption tests. First-principles calculations and Grand canonical Monte Carlo simulations further revealed that not only the open metal sites but also the –COO groups played a key role in the high C2–C3 hydrocarbon uptakes. The results obtained in this study suggest that anionic 1 is a promising candidate for light hydrocarbon adsorption and natural gas purification at room temperature.



This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (21776315), the Program for Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province (ZR2017MB053, ZR2016BL12), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (17CX02031A, 15CX05068A and 15CX08010A) and Qingdao independent innovation program (16-5-1-88-jch).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10853_2018_2155_MOESM1_ESM.docx (256 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 255 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of ScienceChina University of PetroleumQingdaoPeople’s Republic of China

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