Background: Linear alkanes, between nC5 and nC9, and aromatic hydrocarbons, also called
BTX (benzene, toluene, xylenes are important constituents of raw materials in the petroleum and chemical industries.
Their separation is relevant for both industrial and analytical point of views. Industrial separation and purification involve
the use of appropriate molecular sieve materials.
Methods: The separation of linear alkanes (nC5-nC9), and benzene, toluene and o-xylene, also called BTX, by using two
inorganic polymers based on tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) as stationary phase was evaluated from inverse gas chromatography
data. Both materials were able to separate the mixtures of those organic volatile hydrocarbons. The nature of such behavior
is discussed according to the possible guest-host interactions of the molecules adsorption and retention in the
Results: The retention times were obtained from the recorded chromatographic profiles and then used to obtain differential
adsorption heats and separation coefficients. The adsorption heats were estimated for each probe molecule from the
slopes of the straight lines at four temperatures. The effects of these surface differences on the molecules adsorption and
separation are discussed.
Conclusion: The main difference between the two studied materials is the percentage of water on their surface due to the
synthesis conditions. This fact modulates the pore accessibility and the adsorption interactions for BTX probe molecules
but not for linear alkanes adsorption.