Entry for:180 Seconds of Science
Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) are one of the most exciting nanomaterials today. Their extreme sponge-like structure allows them to soak up large amounts of different kinds of substances. They can be used to capture carbon dioxide or other harmful contaminants lessening the environmental footprint of industries or to safely store new alternative fuels, like hydrogen, enabling new ways of transportation and energy storage.
However up until now MOFs have only been produced in the laboratory in very small amounts that are not enough to test/implement these new filter storage technologies. My research addresses this key problem of producing MOFs at large scale. The challenge lies in that fact that there are over thousands of different MOFs types each which different requirements, which cannot easily be scaled up from the laboratory. The solution that we found is a new approach to chemical production - flow chemistry – which allows production of many different types of MOFs in sufficient quantities to introduce these materials to real world applications.
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