Reducing the cost of oxygen enrichment

A simple synthesis using ionic liquids reduces the cost of studying micro-porous oxide materials by NMR. This could help scientists uncover the chemistry and interactions that occur inside these materials.

The microporous structure of zeolites is used in a wide range of applications from catalysis through to gas separation however, studying interactions inside the pores is not trivial. Solid state NMR can probe the environment of 17O atoms lining the sides of the pores but unfortunately 17O has a very low natural abundance making isotopic enrichment the only practical way of conducting these experiments. The standard method of synthesising these compound uses expensive isotopically enriched water as the solvent but the majority of the enriched water ends up in bi-products or as waste solvent.

c2sc20155k
New approach allows scientists to understand what’s going on in zeolite pores

Read the full article in Chemistry World

Link to journal article
Ionothermal 17O Enrichment of Oxides using Microlitre Quantities of Labelled Water
John Griffin ,  Lucy Clark ,  Valerie Seymour ,  David Aldous ,  Daniel Dawson ,  Dinu Iuga ,  Russell Morris and Sharon Elizabeth Ashbrook
Chem. Sci., 2012, Accepted Manuscript, DOI: 10.1039/C2SC20155K

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