MOFs Sop Up Oil | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 89 Issue 43 | p. 37 | Concentrates
Issue Date: October 24, 2011

MOFs Sop Up Oil

Fluorinated metal-organic framework materials selectively adsorb hydrocarbons
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Materials SCENE, Environmental SCENE
Keywords: metal-organic framework, oil spill, hydrocarbon

Two metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) capable of soaking up n-hexane, cyclohexane, benzene, toluene, and p-xylene could be used to clean up oil spills more efficiently than currently used adsorbents. That’s because, unlike activated carbon, organoclays, or porous zeolites, the new materials don’t adsorb water. Researchers led by Mohammad A. Omary of the University of North Texas developed the frameworks, dubbed fluorous MOFs, or FMOFs, for the fluorine atoms that line their surface and make them hydrophobic (J. Am. Chem. Soc., DOI: 10.1021/ja208408n). The two structures reported by Omary’s team, FMOF-1 and FMOF-2, are made of silver ions and trifluoromethyl-bearing triazolate ligands. Through a combination of hydrophobicity and capillary action, the materials selectively adsorb C6 to C8 hydrocarbons and shun water, making them promising materials for cleaning up spills and storing organics.

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