Nav: Home

Super-adsorbent MOF to control humidity

February 05, 2018

Humidity control is a vital aspect of air conditioning, but high energy requirements make conventional methods expensive and environmentally damaging. Researchers at KAUST have developed a metal-organic framework (MOF) that, within its range of applications, could control humidity in an eco-friendly and cost-effective way.

MOFs encompass metal centers or clusters held in a porous framework by organic linker groups. The key to designing a MOF with specific properties is the ability to control the size and chemical structure of the pores by varying the metal and organic parts within each framework.

Dalal Alezi works in Mohamed Eddaoudi's research group at KAUST where a wide range of MOFs are being developed for gas separation, purification and chemical catalysis. This work is part of her doctoral research.

"Our super-adsorbent material has unique properties," explains Alezi. Two breakthrough achievements with the new water-adsorbing MOF (Cr-soc-MOF-1) are its stability in water, unlike many highly porous MOFs, and its high-capacity internal pores that can adsorb twice the weight of the MOF as water (see image). Another vital feature is the easy reversibility of the water uptake. The water adsorbed when humidity levels are high can readily be released when the humidity falls. This yields an ideal material for controlling humidity in restricted spaces.

"Regulating escalating humidity levels, especially indoors and in confined environments, such as aircraft cabins and air-conditioned buildings, is a critical challenge," says Youssef Belmabkhout, a senior research scientist in Eddaoudi's group. He adds: "The conventional systems consume large amounts of energy, require intricate design and excessive cost."

This new material is just one product of Eddaoudi's long-term commitment to exploring the capabilities of MOFs. "To the best of our knowledge our new water-adsorbing MOF outperforms all existing MOFs in terms of capacity, reversibility and cyclic performance," says Eddaoudi. The easy reversibility will be crucial for commercial applications. The team have already maintained the exceptional water uptake and release through more than 100 adsorption-desorption cycles.

Eddaoudi also emphasizes that water-adsorbing MOFs are ready to provide effective solutions to challenges other than regulating humidity, such as tackling water scarcity and environmental sustainability in energy-efficient ways. Possibilities include harvesting drinkable water from air and use in water desalination and purification.

The researchers are now working to scale up their water-adsorbing materials in order to demonstrate commercial potential and move into real-world applications.
-end-


King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST)

Related Water Articles:

Water, water, nowhere
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering have found that the unusual properties of graphane -- a two-dimensional polymer of carbon and hydrogen -- could form a type of anhydrous 'bucket brigade' that transports protons without the need for water, potentially leading to the development of more efficient hydrogen fuel cells for vehicles and other energy systems.
Advantage: Water
When water comes in for a landing on the common catalyst titanium oxide, it splits into hydroxyls just under half the time.
What's really in the water
Through a five-year, $500,000 CAREEER Award from the National Science Foundation, a civil and environmental engineering research group at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering will be developing new DNA sequencing methods to directly measure viral loads in water and better indicate potential threats to human health.
Jumping water striders know how to avoid breaking of the water surface
When escaping from attacking predators, different water strider species adjust their jump performance to their mass and morphology in order to jump off the water as fast and soon as possible without breaking of the water surface.
Water, water -- the two types of liquid water
There are two types of liquid water, according to research carried out by an international scientific collaboration.
Just add water? New MRI technique shows what drinking water does to your appetite, stomach and brain
Stomach MRI images combined with functional fMRI of the brain activity have provided scientists new insight into how the brain listens to the stomach during eating.
UM researchers found shallow-water corals are not related to their deep-water counterparts
A new study led by scientists at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science found that shallow-reef corals are more closely related to their shallow-water counterparts over a thousand miles away than they are to deep-water corals on the same reef.
Saline water better than soap and water for cleaning wounds, researchers find
Researchers found that very low water pressure was an acceptable, low-cost alternative for washing out open fractures, and that the reoperation rate was higher in the group that used soap.
UTA research predicting lake levels, moving water to yield better data for water providers
A University of Texas at Arlington environmental engineer is creating an integrated decision support tool for optimal operation of water supply systems that will allow water providers to make better decisions about when to turn on pumps to transfer water from one reservoir system to another and when to release water downstream from the reservoirs.
Surfing water molecules could hold the key to fast and controllable water transport
Scientists at UCL have identified a new and potentially faster way of moving molecules across the surfaces of certain materials.

Related Water Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Bias And Perception
How does bias distort our thinking, our listening, our beliefs... and even our search results? How can we fight it? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas about the unconscious biases that shape us. Guests include writer and broadcaster Yassmin Abdel-Magied, climatologist J. Marshall Shepherd, journalist Andreas Ekström, and experimental psychologist Tony Salvador.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#513 Dinosaur Tails
This week: dinosaurs! We're discussing dinosaur tails, bipedalism, paleontology public outreach, dinosaur MOOCs, and other neat dinosaur related things with Dr. Scott Persons from the University of Alberta, who is also the author of the book "Dinosaurs of the Alberta Badlands".