MOFs go green

The integration of MOFs into industrial relevant processes marks the shift towards green chemistry

Over the past 15 years, Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) has been the subject of intense efforts in research and development, both in the laboratory and on the industrial scale. Why? Because, scientists believe the material can be developed for use in a variety of industrial processes. The challenge, however, has been a lack of clean and sustainable methods to develop the MOF-material. This is now history. A safe, environmental-friendly synthesis method has now been reported to be successful.

«The new method uses water instead of solvent to synthesize MOFs, which is a greener and much more sustainable way of producing the MOF-material,» said Sachin Maruti Chavan, Chief Technology Officer and co-founder.  

Greener and safer methods

The greener route of synthesis is developed by scientists at the University of Oslo and uses water instead of N,N Dimethylformamide (DMF), also known as solvent, to synthesize Zr-based MOFs. This green synthesis of MOFs is developed with respect to the environment, reactant choice and the synthesis design. Water is used as the reaction medium and therefore the synthesis is mindful of sustainability and environmental impact.

“This new method of synthesizing MOFs symbolizes how green chemistry and sustainability can be compatible with the requirements of industrial production,” Chavan highlights.

A Breakthrough

What does this mean? Well, with scientists being able to produce and manufacture the MOF-material in an environmental-friendly way, it means that companies like ProfMOF are able to fast-track the process of commercializing its products.

“We are now able to synthesize MOFs using water, which means the development of this synthesis is a measure breakthrough in the commercialization of MOFs,” said Svein-Olav Torø, Managing Director.

The future is now 

With a green and environmental-friendly synthesis method, one would think that commercialization is just around the corner. However, the new method of synthesizing MOFs is still under development and scientists needs to test the MOF-material for further development. The good news though, is that scientists are now one step closer and one chance greater at achieving the goal of making the product investor-ready and, hence, commercialize the unique and world-changing product for future utilization.

ProfMOF presents at EuroMOF2015

The latest and greatest within the field of MOFs

ProfMOF was invited to the EuroMOF2015 conference in Berlin to present and discuss the most recent progress in porous polymers and Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs). The conference is hosted and organized by DECHEMA, The Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology in Germany, and brings both academia and the industry together to discuss functional materials and markets.

Tremendous progress

The EuroMOF2015 is the first European conference on MOFs and porous polymers and experts from all over the world are present to discuss the tremendous progress in the development of such materials. The focus has shifted from a more academic point of view to industrial interest and EuroMOF2015 brings both scientists and the industry together.

The past, present and future of MOFs

Topics range from design and synthesis of porous materials to in-depth investigations of the formation of MOFs and potential applications for the material. Several topics will focus on the new MOF-material developed by scientists at the University of Oslo, UiO-66. Karl Petter Lillerud, professor and co-founder of ProfMOF, is part of the committee and will present his work within the field.

“By bringing experts from academia and people from the industry together to discuss the development of these materials and its potential, you are able to fast-forward the process of commercialization of MOFs,” Lillerud explained.

“There has never been a better time for highlighting the huge potential of porous materials like MOFs,” Lillerud added.

Testing is Critical

Moving forward, the testing of these materials is a critical importance before we can see the utilization of the products in industrial processes. At the EuroMOF2015 this subject will be an ongoing one. New techniques to fabricate MOFs are still under development but one thing is for sure, the material will continue to be improved and some day it will change how the world conducts its industrial processes such as separation of gases, absorption and methods of catalytic reactions.

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