e-Science : Oct 2016 Issue 18
MOFs can be made in a variety of structures. to be loaded compared to a stand-alone fuel tank, and the storage reservoir was also better-protected from collisions, increasing the safety despite the relatively high storage pressures. These examples have been successful first steps toward the use of MOFs in fuel storage applications, but there is still a need for better compounds that can achieve adequate storage densities at lower pressures and at temperatures close to room temperature. Our efforts toward boosting the hydrogen and natural gas storage capacities of MOFs involves the discovery of new MOFs that are chemically and structurally tuned to bind the fuel more tightly within its pores. One way this can be done by making materials with smaller pores, so that the molecules fit snugly into the voids within the framework. Another approach is to synthesise materials that are chemically functionalised so that the surface of the MOF has an enhanced affinity toward the incoming molecules. This involves preparing pores that are decorated with metal binding sites, which can attract hydrogen or methane and improve the storage of these fuels at room temperature. The key is now to find ways to increase the density of these types of binding sites in the structures to achieve performance that matches real-world requirements. Molecular fine-tuning An equally exciting part of our work addresses the further processing of these MOFs to further optimise their properties. For example, the crystal size of the MOF materials can be tuned from anywhere between a few nanometres to several millimetres. Furthermore, the crystals can be processed into macroscopic forms such as Have feedback or got a question? Click here to contact us.
May 2016 Issue 17