The separation of alkanes, particularly monobranched and dibranched isomers, is of paramount importance in petrochemical industry for optimizing the feedstock of ethylene production as well as for upgrading the octane number of gasoline. Here we report the full separation of linear/monobranched alkanes from their dibranched isomers by a robust and easily scalable metal-organic framework material, Co3(HCOO)6. The compound completely excludes dibranched alkanes but adsorbs their linear and monobranched isomers, as evidenced by single-component and multicomponent adsorption measurements. More importantly, the material exhibits excellent performance in separating naphtha and is capable of providing high quality feedstock for the production of ethylene and gasoline components with high octane number, making it a promising candidate for naphtha separation in petrochemical industry.
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