METAL ORGANIC
FRAMEWORKS (MOFs)

Metal organic frameworks (MOFs) are organic-inorganic crystalline structures consisting of metal ions and organic linker molecules (ligands). They were first developed in the late 1990s and have rapidly accelerated as a research field and increasingly commercial material. More than 90,000 MOFs have so far been created, with researchers and product developers drawn to their exciting chemical and structural properties, including uniform pore structures, tunable porosity and flexibility in network topology, geometry, dimension and chemical functionality.

MOFs have extremely high porosity and surface area, up to 7,800 m2/gram – or put another way, the surface area of one gram of MOF would cover an entire football field! We are seeing significant commercial interest in MOFs for gas storage and separation, purification, electrochemical energy storage and sensing. Promethean Particle’s continuous hydrothermal synthesis route of manufacture lends itself well to the commercial production of MOFs, which have historically been very expensive. We also work with many research institutions on the development of new MOFs, as well as the translation of batch to continuous manufacturing methods.

HKUST-1 (Cu-BTC)

  • Specific surface area of ~1800 m²/g
  • High affinity for polar guest species (e.g., CO2) but does not tolerate water well

MIL-53 (Al)

  • Specific surface area of ~1500 m²/g
  • Very robust MOF that tolerates a wide range of temperatures and conditions
  • Can be tuned via linker functionalisation to alter its selectivity

Aluminium Fumarate

  • Specific surface area of ~1200 m²/g
  • Relatively low-cost MOF material
  • Applications: water capture/heat transfer

ZIF-8

  • Specific surface area of ~1800 m²/g
  • A highly stable material
  • Applications: capture of hydrophobic guest species and hydrocarbon separations (e.g., alkane/alkene separations)

ZIF-67

  • Specific surface area of ~700 m²/g
  • Similar structure to ZIF-8, with slightly different selectivity due to the different metal centre used

CPO-27 (Ni) /
MOF-74 (Ni)

  • Specific surface area of ~1300 m²/g
  • Similar applications to HKUST-1, but tolerates water much better
  • Excellent cycle-to-cycle stability in CO2 capture applications

CPO-27 (Zn) /
MOF-74 (Zn)

  • Specific surface area of ~900 m²/g
  • Similar applications to CPO-27 (Ni)
  • Slightly lower CO2 capacity than CPO-27 (Ni), but with a lower cost and a higher selectivity for some other chemical species

MIL-100 (Fe)

  • Specific surface area of ~1400 m²/g
  • Useful for gas separation applications due to multiple pore sizes in its structure
  • Can also be used for water capture, which is particularly interesting due to the low regeneration energy required

Fe-BTC

  • “Amorphous” variant of MIL-100 (Fe)
  • Specific surface area of ~1000 m²/g
  • Lower surface area than MIL-100 (Fe), but with a higher density of defect sites, improving its ability to uptake some polar species
  • Additional applications in catalysis

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