Materials Chemistry

Polydimethyl siloxane/MIL-101 Composites for Enhanced Toluene Adsorption in the Presence of Humidity



Competition between atmospheric moisture and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for an adsorbent’s sites can significantly impact its VOC removal efficiency. The development of moisture-tolerant adsorbents is essential to address this issue. A vapor phase deposition process using polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) has created a hydrophobic form of the highly porous, normally hydrophilic, MOF MIL-101. After optimizing the PDMS vapor deposition time and molecular weights, hydrophobicity index calculations verified the improved hydrophobicity of the coated MOF (MIL-PDMS-Sigma-0.25) over its pristine form. The surface area, pore volume as well as single component vapor adsorption of water and toluene capacities were also preserved, resulting to similar performance to MIL-101. Toluene-water vapor co-adsorption experiments were conducted at 40% RH using two toluene concentrations: 0.5% P/P0 and 10% P/P0, mimicking environmental VOC and industrial concentrations, respectively. At 0.5% P/P0, MIL-PDMS-Sigma-0.25 exhibited 60% higher adsorption capacity and twice the rate of toluene capture relative to pristine MIL-101, as well as a 3-fold higher toluene uptake relative to a commercial activated carbon. Preliminary adsorbent regeneration experiments confirm the stability and performance of MIL-PDMS-Sigma-0.25. Using a simple vapor phase modification, this new MOF-composite material offers superior competitive toluene vapor uptake in humidified real-world conditions at VOC concentrations.


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Supplementary material

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ChemRvix SI
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ChemRxiv SEM images

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