New Material Which potentially Can Help with Environmental Protection

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Metal-organic frameworks combine a cluster of metal ions and organic linkers to form a honeycomb-like structure. Dr Christian Doonan, The University of Adelaide

Metal-organic Frameworks (MOFs) “are constructed from bridging organic ligands that remain intact throughout the synthesis” (Cheetham; Férey; Loiseau). This type of molecule is extremely porous, in other words, it has a gigantic inter surface area. The ratio between the surface area of MOFs molecules can cover and the weight of MOFs is “one gram of it [MOFs] could be unfolded to cover one-and-a-half football fields” (“Large”). The reason that MOFs is capable of having such an impressive internal storage is that the molecular structure is composed by “two components: the metal ion or cluster and the organic linker”. So why is this significant to Earth protection? Due to the 3 key properties of MOFs: “extraordinarily high surface areas, tunable pore size, and adjustable internal surface”, the molecules are expected to be utilized in capturing CO2 that creates greenhouse effect or storing methane, hydrogen etc. which can be the new clean energy for transportation (“Introduction”). In general, MOFs grabs tons of attention and hope from scientists, despite the few challenges they are facing to build a more massive and stable application of it.


[1] Cheetham, AK; Férey, G; Loiseau, T (1999). “Open-framework inorganic materials”.

[2] “Introduction to Metal–Organic Frameworks.” ACS Publications,

[3] “Large Surface Area Lends Superpowers to Ultra-Porous Materials.” – News and Articles on Science and Technology,,

[4] Sumby, Christopher. “MOF the Chart: Why a Record-Breaking Surface Area Matters.” The Conversation, The Conversation, 3 Jan. 2019,  (where the illustration is from)

YS Ding, Posted on January 4th, 2019

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