BASF research scientists have developed a method for solvent-free industrial-scale manufacture of metal organic frameworks (MOFs) for better gas storage. MOFs produced by the new method are currently being trialed for natural gas storage in heavy duty vehicles.
BASF has been working toward industrial-scale synthesis of MOFs for the past 10 years. MOFs are highly crystalline structures with nanometer-sized pores that allow them to store hydrogen and other high-energy gases. The larger specific surface area and high porosity on the nanometer scale enable MOFs to hold relatively large amounts of these gases. The pores are adjustable in terms of size and polarity and so can be fine-tuned for specific applications.
Used as storage materials in the natural gas tanks of municipal utility vehicles MOFs offer a docking area for gas molecules, which can be stored in higher densities as a result. The larger gas quantity in the tank increases the vehicle’s range. An advantage of the production method developed by BASF is that it uses no organic solvents. The simple method gives a higher material yield from an aqueous medium and is suitable for existing BASF production plants.
Photo: (C) BASF – The Chemical Company, 2010
Possible storage medium for hydrogen: nanocubes made of MOFs
- BASF SE, Luswigshafen, Germany