School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Event items

Porous Liquids and Scalable, Solvent-free Continuous Synthesis Mechanochemistry

Chemistry Seminar Series - Professor Stuart James, Queen's University Belfast

Date/Time: Tuesday 20 November 2018, 14:00 - 15:00

Venue: Room 2.76, Bedson Building

Abstract

Porous Liquids

Porosity is a fundamentally important property of materials, but is normally only associated with the solid state.

Porous solids (such as zeolites and PCPs/MOFs) have many useful properties such as selective gas absorption, but their solid nature imposes limitations.

For example, they are difficult to implement in continuous flow technologies and cannot be used as solvents for chemical reactions.

We have recently invented the first porous liquids (PLs) – i.e. liquids containing permanent, empty micropores. The presence of empty pores greatly increases the solubility of gases in the liquid, and the pores can selectively enhance the solubility of one gas over another.

We have also found that PLs can be prepared easily and cheaply which will accelerate their industrial implementation.

An example of a porous liquid, modelling of the liquid state and increased gas solubility.

Figure1. An example of a porous liquid, modelling of the liquid state and increased gas solubility. 

 

Scalable, solventless, continuous synthesis by mechanochemistry

A major contributor to the cost and unsustainability of chemical processes is the solvent.

We have found that MOFs and many organic compounds can actually be made using little or no solvent, by vigorously grinding together solid reactants.

Advances in fundamental knowledge of how such mechanochemical reactions progress, as well as the recent development of this technique into continuous scalable manufacturing methods by Twin Screw Extrusion (Figure 2) will be presented.

A twin-screw extruder used for scalable solvent-free synthesis of inorganic and organic compounds.

Figure 2. A twin-screw extruder used for scalable solvent-free synthesis of inorganic and organic compounds.

References:

  1. N. Giri et al. Nature. 2015, 527, 216; doi:10.1038/nature16072.
  2. D. Crawford et al. Chem. Sci. 2015, 6, 1645; B. Hutchings et al. Angew Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, DOI10.1002/anie.201706723.