Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a new class of microporous materials with large specific surface areas (up to 7000 m2/g) that substantially exceed those of established porous materials like silicates or activated carbon.
MOFs consist of metallic clusters that are connected by organic linkers (e.g. terephthalate, imidazolate). They offer an infinite array of compositional possibilities, generating a wide variety of MOF substances with very different properties. Porous MOF materials can therefore be used in very different areas of application, in particular gas storage, separation technology, sensors, water treatment, protection and catalysis.
We carry out applied research in the field of metal-organic frameworks, and investigate and test their applicability in various fields, such as the adsorptive separation of toxic and industrial gases (TICs, VOCs), personnel protection, CO2 capture and atmospheric water generation. These results are achieved by developing tailor-made materials with specific structural properties in terms of surface area, pore size and shape, hydrophobicity, mechanical strength, etc.
However, designing, synthesizing and upscaling a material to meet a specific goal involves significant technological risk and implementation costs. MOFs are also used as an active substance in compound materials based on conventional matrices (graphene oxide, activated carbon, zeolite, silica gel). These composites with integrated MOFs minimize the technological disadvantages of the matrix, reducing production costs and improving the performance of the materials. Due to their specific structural composition, MOFs are reported to achieve unprecedented results, enabling the solution of a variety of problems. Their further development allows innovations in the fields of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), atmospheric water harvesting (AWH), water treatment and exhaust gas treatment.
We use screening procedures conducted either continuously or batch-wise in parallel reactor set-ups, in order to identify promising synthesis routes at a very early stage during the exploration of new MOF materials. Modern analytical methods are available for characterizing the products, in particular the structure, specific surface, adsorption behavior and chemical and thermal stability of the porous materials.
- evaluation of the performance of innovative materials for the adsorption and separation of TICs and VOCs
- development and evaluation MOFs for AWH and CCUS
- synthesis and scale-up of MOFs and MOF composite materials
- development, analysis and optimization of customer-specific requirements for MOF processes