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Commercial MOFs on the horizon

By Mary Page Bailey |

A partnership between materials company NuMat Technologies (Skokie, Ill.; www.numat-tech.com) and The Linde Group (Munich, Germany; www.the-linde-group.com) is set to bring metal-organic-framework (MOF) materials into the mainstream industrial-gas sector. Touted for their extremely high surface area and adsorption capacity, MOFs also have the ability to “tune” their properties based on the interactions between the metal component and the organic ligand, a major advantage. “These materials are essentially programmable in ways in which zeolites or carbons are not,” says Ben Hernandez, NuMat chief executive officer. Using high-throughput supercomputing, a proprietary algorithm and experimental characterization, NuMat will sift through a library of millions of potential metal-ligand combinations to tailor MOFs with desirable characteristics for Linde’s gas separation and storage applications (gas separation using an MOF is illustrated in the diagram). Precisely tuned pore size, for instance, is extremely important in kinetic-based separations, explains Hernandez. In the future, these MOFs may be deployed into Linde’s existing and new installations. According to Hernandez, “This is one of the first times we’re seeing…
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