On the use of the IAST method for gas separation studies in porous materials with gate-opening behavior
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Highly flexible nanoporous materials, exhibiting for instance gate opening or breathing behavior, are often presented as candidates for separation processes due to their supposed high adsorption selectivity. But this view, based on “classical” considerations of rigid materials and the use of the Ideal Adsorbed Solution Theory (IAST), does not necessarily hold in the presence of framework deformations. Here, we revisit some results from the published literature and show how proper inclusion of framework flexibility in the osmotic thermodynamic ensemble drastically changes the conclusions, in contrast to what intuition and standard IAST would yield. In all cases, the IAST method does not reproduce the gate-opening behavior in the adsorption of mixtures, and may overestimates the selectivity by up to two orders of magnitude.