Bimetallic Metal Sites in Metal–Organic Frameworks Facilitate the Production of 1-Butene from Electrosynthesized Ethylene

by Mi Gyoung Lee, Sharath Kandambeth, Xiao-Yan Li, Osama Shekhah, Adnan Ozden, Joshua Wicks, Pengfei Ou, Sasa Wang, Roham Dorakhan, Sungjin Park, Prashant M. Bhatt, Vinayak S. Kale, David Sinton, Mohamed Eddaoudi, Edward H. Sargent
Year: 2024 DOI:


Converting CO2 to synthetic hydrocarbon fuels is of increasing interest. In light of progress in electrified CO2 to ethylene, we explored routes to dimerize to 1-butene, an olefin that can serve as a building block to ethylene longer-chain alkanes. With goal of selective and active dimerization, we investigate a series of metal–organic frameworks having bimetallic catalytic sites. We find that the tunable pore structure enables optimization of selectivity and that periodic pore channels enhance activity. In a tandem system for the conversion of CO2 to 1-C4H8, wherein the outlet cathodic gas from a CO2-to-C2H4 electrolyzer is fed directly (via a dehumidification stage) into the C2H4 dimerizer, we study the highest-performing MOF found herein: M′ = Ru and M″ = Ni in the bimetallic two-dimensional M′2(OAc)4M″(CN)4 MOF. We report a 1-C4H8 production rate of 1.3 mol gcat–1 h–1 and a C2H4 conversion of 97%. From these experimental data, we project an estimated cradle-to-gate carbon intensity of −2.1 kg-CO2e/kg-1-C4H8 when CO2 is supplied from direct air capture and when the required energy is supplied by electricity having the carbon intensity of wind.