Chemistry 2011.org
Chemistry2011.org
All About Chemistry... 2011 and beyond
Complex

Related Stories

Chemists develop single molecule sieves to separate complex molecular mixtures

Feb. 15, 2013 — Chemists at the University of Liverpool have created a new technique that could be used in industry to separate complex organic chemical mixtures.

Chemical feedstocks containing benzene are used extensively in industry to create modern materials and polymers. Their use relies heavily on distillation techniques which separate complex mixtures into more simple molecules used as building blocks to develop drugs, plastics and new materials. These distillation techniques can be expensive and involve large amounts of energy for hard-to-separate mixtures.

A team of researchers at the University's Department of Chemistry, led by Professor Andrew Cooper, have created organic molecular crystals that are able to separate important organic aromatic molecules by their molecular shape.

Professor Cooper said: "We were able to demonstrate this new molecule separation technique by synthesising porous organic cage molecules that are highly similar in shape to the molecules that need to be separated.

"The holes in these cage molecules act like a shape-selective molecular sieve, rather like a children's wooden shape puzzle. Using computer simulations we revealed how the porous cages separate the aromatic feedstocks and show that, unlike a wooden shape puzzle, the mechanism actually involves flexibility and motion in the cage sieves. "

The ability to separate complex molecules using less energy will be important in the future for current petrochemical and chemical industries and for producing any next-generation sustainable bio-derived chemicals.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tamoghna Mitra, Kim E. Jelfs, Marc Schmidtmann, Adham Ahmed, Samantha Y. Chong, Dave J. Adams, Andrew I. Cooper. Molecular shape sorting using molecular organic cages. Nature Chemistry, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/nchem.1550

Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

The source of this article can be found at: complex-molecular-mixtures/' target='_blank'>http://news.liv.ac.uk/2013/02/14/new-technique-developed-to-separate-complex-molecular-mixtures/

Share this story with your friends!

Social Networking

Please recommend us on Facebook, Twitter and more:

Other social media tools

Global Partners
Feedback

Tell us what you think of Chemistry 2011 -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?

About us

Chemistry2011 is an informational resource for students, educators and the self-taught in the field of chemistry. We offer resources such as course materials, chemistry department listings, activities, events, projects and more along with current news releases.

Events & Activities

Are you interested in listing an event or sharing an activity or idea? Perhaps you are coordinating an event and are in need of additional resources? Within our site you will find a variety of activities and projects your peers have previously submitted or which have been freely shared through creative commons licenses. Here are some highlights: Featured Idea 1, Featured Idea 2.

About you

Ready to get involved? The first step is to sign up by following the link: Join Here. Also don’t forget to fill out your profile including any professional designations.

Global Partners