11 August, 2020
Innovative materials called metal organic frameworks (MOFs) could become much more versatile following research that shows that they can be manipulated as liquids.
MOFs are highly porous crystalline solids with metal ions or metal clusters joined by organic (carbon-based) linker groups. Varying these parts can create a huge variety of solids with internal pores able to trap selected molecules or catalyze chemical reactions.
“These crystalline materials are difficult to process, but we have developed a way to solubilize them,” says Anastasiya Bavykina of the research team at the KAUST Catalysis Center.
“This is revolutionary,” says Bavykina. Propylene is a key feedstock for the chemical industry; it is used to make the polymer polypropylene used in many products. It can also be converted into other polymers and industrially useful chemicals, but it must first be separated from the propane it generally comes mixed with.
Cross-sectional SEM images show differences in physical characteristics of the membranes. Reproduced with permission from reference 1 © 2020 Springer Nature.
This article was originally published on KAUST Discovery