MOF research goes with the flow approach

    Recently published research into the production of Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) utilising Vapourtec flow chemistry technology has revealed the substantial benefits of adopting a continuous flow process over the traditional batch approach.

    MOFs exhibit similar structures to naturally occurring Zeolites however their properties can be synthetically tuned providing a multitude of potential industrial applications including the storage, separation and triggered release of gases, drug molecules or toxins due to the porous nature of MOF compounds.

    The scientific report published on entitled “Versatile, High Quality and Scalable Continuous Flow Production of Metal-Organic Frameworks” by researchers from CSIRO Melbourne, Australia charts findings from research carried out using Vapourtec technology and involved the synthesis of three different families of MOFs: copper trimesate HKUST-1, zirconium terephthalate UiO-66 and scandium biphenyl-tetracarboxylate NOTT-400.

    The research led by Dr Tash Polyzos and Dr Matthew Hill highlights the application of continuous flow chemistry to solve the challenges associated with the scale-up of MOF synthesis and production. The conclusions focused on three key breakthroughs in defining future directions for the production of MOFs. Firstly versatility of the flow chemistry reaction apparatus led to the rapid production of all three MOFs. Secondly there was no loss in quality in terms of surface area, space-time yields and control of particle size. Finally a continuous flow process using a macro scale reactor delivered an impressive increase in production rates from 2 to 60 g/h.

    Duncan Guthrie, MD and founder of Vapourtec, commented: “One of the major issues affecting ongoing research into MOFs is the difficulty in synthesising large quantities in an efficient way.

    Batch chemistry can be limiting in this regard with many systems delivering low quality yields when scaled up whereas a continuous flow approach provides a far more effective, scalable and controllable process of manufacture. This research into MOFs is a ringing endorsement of the potential that flow chemistry can deliver and the innovative reactor and system technologies engineered by Vapourtec,” added Duncan.

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