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J Am Chem Soc. 2013 Aug 14;135(32):11887-94. doi: 10.1021/ja4045289. Epub 2013 Jul 26.

Methane storage in metal-organic frameworks: current records, surprise findings, and challenges.

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NIST Center for Neutron Research, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899-6102, USA.


We have examined the methane uptake properties of six of the most promising metal organic framework (MOF) materials: PCN-14, UTSA-20, HKUST-1, Ni-MOF-74 (Ni-CPO-27), NU-111, and NU-125. We discovered that HKUST-1, a material that is commercially available in gram scale, exhibits a room-temperature volumetric methane uptake that exceeds any value reported to date. The total uptake is about 230 cc(STP)/cc at 35 bar and 270 cc(STP)/cc at 65 bar, which meets the new volumetric target recently set by the Department of Energy (DOE) if the packing efficiency loss is ignored. We emphasize that MOFs with high surface areas and pore volumes perform better overall. NU-111, for example, reaches ~75% of both the gravimetric and the volumetric targets. We find that values for gravimetric uptake, pore volume, and inverse density of the MOFs we studied scale essentially linearly with surface area. From this linear dependence, we estimate that a MOF with surface area 7500 m(2)/g and pore volume 3.2 cc/g could reach the current DOE gravimetric target of 0.5 g/g while simultaneously exhibiting around ~200 cc/cc volumetric uptake. We note that while values for volumetric uptake are based on ideal single crystal densities, in reality the packing densities of MOFs are much lower. Finally, we show that compacting HKUST-1 into wafer shapes partially collapses the framework, decreasing both volumetric and gravimetric uptake significantly. Hence, one of the important challenges going forward is to find ways to pack MOFs efficiently without serious damage or to synthesize MOFs that can withstand substantial mechanical pressure.


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