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Title: Metal-Organic Framework with Optimal Adsorption, Separation, and Selectivity towards Xenon

Nuclear energy is considered among the most viable alternatives to our current fossil fuel based energy economy.1 The mass-deployment of nuclear energy as an emissions-free source requires the reprocessing of used nuclear fuel to mitigate the waste.2 One of the major concerns with reprocessing used nuclear fuel is the release of volatile radionuclides such as Xe and Kr. The most mature process for removing these radionuclides is energy- and capital-intensive cryogenic distillation. Alternatively, porous materials such as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have demonstrated the ability to selectively adsorb Xe and Kr at ambient conditions.3-8 High-throughput computational screening of large databases of porous materials has identified a calcium-based nanoporous MOF, SBMOF-1, as the most selective for Xe over Kr.9,10 Here, we affirm this prediction and report that SBMOF-1 exhibits by far the highest Xe adsorption capacity and a remarkable Xe/Kr selectivity under relevant nuclear reprocessing conditions. The exceptional selectivity of SBMOF-1 is attributed to its pore size tailored to Xe and its dense wall of atoms that constructs a binding site with a high affinity for Xe, as evident by single crystal X-ray diffraction and molecular simulation.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
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Journal Name: Nature Communications, ncomms11831
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
Xenon; Krypton; MOFs