Effects of particle size on the gas uptake kinetics and physical properties of type III porous liquids

Siyuan Liu, Beibei Lai, Stuart L. James*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)


Type III porous liquids (PLs) consist of porous solid particles dispersed in a size-excluded liquid phase and are attracting much attention as novel media for applications such as gas separation. However, the effects of fundamental variables such as particle size on their physical properties are currently largely unknown. Here we study the effects of particle size in a series of porous liquids based on solid Al(OH)(fumarate) (a microporous metal–organic framework, MOF) with particle sizes of 60 nm, 200–600 nm, or 800–1000 dispersed in liquid polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). Properties examined include physical stability of the dispersion, viscosity, total CO2 uptake, and kinetics of CO2 uptake. As expected, both physical stability and viscosity decreased with increasing particle size. Unexpectedly, total gravimetric gas uptake also varied with particle size, being greatest for the largest particles, which we ascribe to larger particles having a lower relative content of surface-bound FMA ligands. Various models for the gas uptake kinetic data were considered, specifically adsorption reaction models such as pseudo-first-order, pseudo-second-order, and Elovich models. In contrast to pure PDMS, which showed first-order kinetics, all PLs fit best to the Elovich model confirming that their uptake mechanism is more complex than for a simple liquid. Adsorption diffusion models, specifically Weber and Morris’ intraparticle model and Boyd’s model, were also applied which revealed a three-step process in which a combination of diffusion through a surface layer and intraparticle diffusion were rate-limiting. The rate of gas uptake follows the order PDMS < PL1 < PL2 < PL3, showing that the porous liquids take up gas more rapidly than does PDMS and that this rate increases with particle size. Overall, the study suggests that for high gas uptake and fast uptake kinetics, large particles may be preferred. Also, the fact that large particles resulted in low viscosity may be advantageous in reducing the pumping energy needed in flow separation systems. Therefore, the work suggests that finding ways to stabilize PLs with large particles against phase separation could be advantageous for optimizing the properties of PLs toward applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16436–16444
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Issue number13
Early online date21 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished - 03 Apr 2024


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