Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have gained growing popularity in nanomaterials science due to their enormous potential applications in gas treatment, gas storage, catalysis, drug delivery and host-guest chemistry. With a market for porous materials valued at $3 billion annually, a wide range of industries and government agencies have need of new materials that will provide radical advancements for applications ranging from air purification to greenhouse gas capture. However, private or government sectors have minimal access to these new materials. The project team seeks to provide customized MOF materials with our novel scale-up process to fill this serious market gap. Based on the results of prior research, the team has developed technologies to produce MOF materials in kilogram quantities.
Currently, MOFs exist largely at the academic lab scale, where the typical MOF synthesis results in yields on the order of 10-100 mg of material. Radical advances in porous materials capabilities are required to solve critical problems in air purification, carbon dioxide capture, natural gas upgrading, etc. MOFs have been shown to provide broad spectrum success in these sectors at the lab scale. 100 grams of one the particular materials developed by the project team possess a surface area that is roughly equivalent to the area of 26 American football fields. For true larger-scale applicability, easy access to quantities of at least two orders of magnitude greater, i.e., 10-100 kg, is required. Due to the broad applicability of these materials, there is a realized need for the development of our technology. This proposed project has the potential to fill critical gaps that currently prevent real-world application of MOFs, including customization of materials for the customer's applications and availability of a portfolio of MOFs for customer testing at scale.