Navigation Links
Novel organic metal hybrids that will revolutionize materials science and chemical engineering
Date:2/18/2008

A novel class of hybrid materials made from metals and organic compounds is changing the face of solid state chemistry and materials science just 10 years after its discovery, with applications already in safe storage of highly inflammable gases such as hydrogen and methane. Europe is aiming to capitalise on core strengths in the field and build critical mass by combining the diverse range of skills required within a coherent research network, following a major workshop organised by the European Science Foundation (ESF).

The materials called MOFs (Metal Organic Frameworks) represent one of the biggest breakthroughs in solid state science whose potential is only just being realised, according to the ESF workshop convenor Grard Frey. The domain is currently exploding, and there are so many potential applications that it is difficult to decide how to prioritise them. The only limit is our imagination, said Frey.

There is no doubt though that the first big application of MOFs - storage of gases - will be highly important, given the urgency of developing alternatives to fossil fuels for automobiles. For hydrogen storage, MOFs are already used, and many carmakers have these products in prototypes, said Frey.

MOFs are porous materials with microscopic sized holes, resembling honeycombs at molecular dimensions. This property of having astronomical numbers of tiny holes within a relatively small volume can be exploited in various ways, one of which is as a repository for gases. Gas molecules diffuse into the MOF solid and are contained within its pores. In the case of gas storage, MOFs offer the crucial advantage of soaking up some of the gas pressure exerted by the molecules. This makes hydrogen derived from non-fossil energy sources such as fuel cells, or even genetically engineered plants, potentially viable as a fuel for cars while the alternative of pressurised canisters is not. The key difference is that the amount of gas stored in a conventional cylinder at say 200 atmospheres pressure could be accommodated in an MOF vessel of the same size at just 30 atmospheres, which is much safer.

The porous nature of MOFs enables them to be exploited in quite another way as catalysts to accelerate chemical reactions for a wide variety of materials production and pharmaceutical applications, although this field, as Frey noted, is still in its infancy. Yet already the field is gaining interest beyond academia from serious companies, with a significant development at the ESF workshop being the presence and support of German chemicals giant BASF. This in turn has provided high endorsement of the fields potential and has stimulated interest from other companies, according to Frey.

But several challenges remain before this potential can be realised, the first one being to assemble research and development teams with the right body of skills. As Frey noted, many of the skills already exist but the researchers need to expand their horizons and focus more broadly on the big picture beyond their specialised domains. There is also the technical challenge of learning first how these materials are formed, and then applying the knowledge to design MOFs matched to specific requirements. MOFs are crystalline solids that form in highly regular patterns from solutions, just as salts and sugars do. Researchers need to learn how to manipulate the starting conditions to obtain just the crystalline composition and arrangement they want.


'/>"/>

Contact: Grard Frey
gferey@wanadoo.fr
33-139-254-359
European Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Novel mathematical model predicts new wave of drug-resistant HIV infections in San Francisco
2. Novel approach strips staph of virulence
3. UCSD research team identifies novel anticancer drug from the sea
4. Novel compound may lessen heart attack damage
5. Novel molecules developed at UB can boost vaccine potency
6. Novel small molecule therapy shows benefit for anemic patients via hydration of red blood cells
7. Novel vaccine concept developed by scientists at the Wistar Institute
8. Tibotec Pharmaceuticals a Respectful Partner to HIV Community in Pricing of Novel New HIV NNRTI, INTELENCE
9. Millennium and Harvard Medical School Sign Cooperative Agreement for Research in Novel Field of Cancer Biology
10. Statement by AARP CEO Bill Novelli on President Bushs State of the Union
11. New method enables design, production of extremely novel drugs
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many families have long-term insurance ... care insurance companies have a waiver for care if the client has a cognitive ... the family pays for care, is often waived, so the benefits from their insurance ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... giving viewers the lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," ... on current events and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... now treating sleep apnea using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As many ... sleep disorder characterized by frequent cessation in breathing. Oral appliances can offer significant ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Asante, a nationally recognized ... have expanded their existing home health joint venture through an agreement, effective October ... a joint venture home health company with Asante, delivering clinically integrated care, for ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... On Saturday, October ... treadmill relay – Miles by Moonlight to raise money for the American Heart Association ... more. , Teams will work together to keep their treadmills moving for 5 ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... ORLANDO, Fla. , Oct. 2, 2017  AllianceRx ... services company formed by Walgreens and pharmacy benefit manager ... of its new brand, which included the unveiling of ... Fla. , as well as at a few ... introduces the new brand to patients, some of whom ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... WASHINGTON , Sept. 28, 2017 Cohen ... to advance the use of wearable and home sensors ... brain disorders. Early Signal Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused ... populations, will provide an affordable analytical system to record ... ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... R.I. , Sept. 25, 2017  EpiVax, ... assessment, vaccine design, and immune-engineering today announced the ... on the development of personalized therapeutic cancer vaccines. ... has provided exclusive access to enabling technologies to ... Eng., MBA will lead EpiVax Oncology as Chief ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: