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Dual-functioning MOFs maintain a comfortable room humidity

By Gerald Ondrey |

Researchers from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST; Thuwal, Saudi Arabia; www.kaust.edu.sa) have developed a metal-organic framework (MOF) material that can regulate the humidity levels within the “window” established by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers. The materials may also find applications controlling the humidity in control rooms, aircraft cabins or other enclosed spaces. Mohamed Eddaoudi and his team in the Advanced Membranes and Porous Materials Center assembled water-stable Y-shp-MOF-5, which is a highly connected MOF in which rare earth-metal-based clusters are connected by 12 organic linkers. This material was found to selectively adsorb water, depending on the relative humidity (RH). When the RH exceeds 55%, the water adsorption increases dramatically, thereby reducing the humidity in the room. If the RH falls below 45%, the absorbed water is released. As a result, the MOFs can autonomously maintain the RH at the comfortable range of 45–65%, say the researchers. The material was shown to retain this behavior after more than 1,000 adsorption-desorption cycles. The presence of the high proportion of organic (hydrophobic) linkers are thought…
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