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Nanoporous Metal-Organic Frameworks for production

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Complex structures for gas trapping

Novel hybrid inorganic-organic structures have opened a new area of discovery and shown great promise in a number of areas. EU funding helped researchers produce several demonstrator devices highlighting opportunities.

Industrial Technologies

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a relatively new class of porous crystalline structures consisting of metal oxide clusters connected by organic ligands (the linkers). The resulting networks can have complex three-dimensional geometries. They create numerous micropores and thus exhibit the highest reported surface area of any material. MOFs are excellent candidates for gas sorption and separation, catalysis (confined reaction structures) and sensing applications. A consortium of 17 beneficiaries from 10 European countries initiated the EU-funded 'Nanoporous metal-organic frameworks for production' (NANOMOF) project to pursue industrial application of MOFs. The focus was on gas purification, safe delivery of toxic electronics-grade gases and, finally, catalysis. MOFs were developed and evaluated for each application area resulting in selection of the best candidates for up-scaled production and new product demonstration. For skin and respiratory system protection, scientists produced three-dimensionally loaded MOF-functionalised non-woven textiles. Combining traditional carbon-based adsorbents with the MOF materials was particularly effective. The team also experimented with various methods of production of the MOF-loaded textile air filters. Preliminary production of a few square metres showed promising performance. The team produced protective textile gloves, filter canisters for respiratory protection and gas purification canisters. Furthermore, a reactor demonstrator equipped with different MOF catalysts successfully produced monoglyceride. Finally, researchers developed a number of technologies to produce MOFs for use as bulk material in the form of spherical granules of various sizes. NANOMOF addressed all parts of the development chain to produce MOFs and products utilising them. Results will have important economic and ecological impact on pollution and toxicity protection, safe industrial delivery of toxic gases and catalysis.

Keywords

Demonstrator, MOF, metal oxide, organic, micropores, gas sorption, separation, catalysis, textiles, filter, monoglyceride

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