Synthesizing Hypercrosslinked Polymers with Deep Eutectic Solvents to Enhance CO2/N2 Selectivity

Liang Ding, Nadhita Chanchaona, Kristina Konstas, Matthew Hill, Xianfeng Fan, Colin Wood, Cher Hon Lau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Hypercrosslinked polymers (HCPs) are widely used in ion exchange, water purification, and gas separation. However, HCP synthesis typically requires hazardous halogenated solvents e.g., dichloroethane, dichloromethane and chloroform which are toxic to human health and environment. Herein we hypothesize that the use of halogenated solvents in HCP synthesis can be overcome with deep eutectic solvents (DES) comprising metal halides – FeCl3, ZnCl2 that can act as both the solvent hydrogen bond donor and catalyst for
polymer crosslinking via Friedel Crafts alkylation. We validated our hypothesis by synthesizing HCPs in DESs via internal and external crosslinking strategies. [ChCl][ZnCl2]2 and [ChCl][FeCl3]2 was more suitable for internal and external hypercrosslinking, respectively. The specific surface areas of HCPs synthesized in DES were 20 – 60 % lower than those from halogenated solvents, but their CO2/N2 selectivities were up to 453 % higher (CO2/N2 selectivity of poly-α,α’-
dichloro-p-xylene synthesized in [ChCl][ZnCl2]2 via internal crosslinking reached a value of 105). This was attributed to the narrower pore size distributions of HCPs synthesized in DESs.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202301602
Early online date1 Feb 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Feb 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • CO /N selectivity
  • Deep Eutectic Solvents
  • Hypercrosslinked Polymers


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