December 8, 2023

Fighting climate change with chemical compounds: How Mofs can help our planet

  • What are MOFs? – They are small molecules made of minerals and organic building blocks. Like sponges, they form empty spaces so small that they can only hold small objects – and in large quantities.
  • Small, but with huge space – Although MOFs are small in size, they have a huge internal surface area. One gram of MOF can contain an area equivalent to 280 football fields. This means they can carry a lot of stuff.
  • MOFs as a beacon of hope in the fight against the climate crisis – They could play a major role for our planet. By trapping and reusing gases in their little “cages,” they can help develop sustainable technologies to combat climate change. At the same time, it opens up new ways to store energy.
  • Green energy is also supported – MOFs can also help generate clean energy. It can help produce green fuels such as hydrogen and methane, which are more environmentally friendly than traditional fuels.
  • Discover science – Through his fundamental work, Professor Susumu Kitagawa contributed to the discovery and further development of the properties of MOFs.

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The specific properties and applications of MOFs depend on their chemical composition and structure. Researchers are constantly developing new MOFs with tailored properties for use in a variety of industrial and scientific applications.

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The way MOFs work depends on their unique structure and chemical properties:

porosity: MOFs have high porosity because they consist of a regular network of pores. These pores can accommodate gas molecules or other substances, making them suitable for storing volatile gases or compounds.

Adsorption: MOFs can absorb and store gas molecules. This means that they are able to bind gases in their pores, which is important in applications such as carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) or hydrogen storage for the hydrogen economy.

Catalysis: Due to their metal-organic structure, MOFs can act as catalysts in chemical reactions. Metal centers in MOFs can serve as active sites for catalytic processes.

Separation: MOFs can be used to separate gas mixtures because they have different adsorption behaviors due to their different connections to the pores of the MOF.

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