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MOFs that mimic leaves for enhanced performance

By Gerald Ondrey |

Chemists from the research group of Stefania Grecea at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA; the Netherlands; www.uva.nl) Research Priority Sustainable Chemistry have devised a way to enhance the practical performance of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). By using leaves from the black poplar (Populus nigra) as a template, they produced hierarchical porous structures of mixed-metal-oxide materials that can act as a support for MOF crystals. Described in a recent issue of Applied Materials & Interfaces, doctoral student Yiwen Tang, in collaboration with David Dubbeldam of the UvA Computational Chemistry group, demonstrated the unique adsorption and separation properties of the bio-inspired design. The researchers synthesized crystalline zeolitic imidazolate framework (ZIF-8) onto a mixed metal-oxide support TiO2–SiO2 (TSO). Using a natural leaf of the black poplar as a template, the TSO support was prepared by a sol-gel process. A layer of crystalline ZIF-8 was then grown on the support to form a ZIF-8@TSO composite. The ZIF-8@TSO composite selectively adsorbs methanol — a property that could be applied for the separation of azeotropic mixtures of methanol and ethanol. Yiwen Tang studied the adsorption properties of the new…
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