Oct 16, 2017 | By Benedict

Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology have 3D printed two types of metal-organic framework (MOF) monoliths, from MOF-74(Ni) and UTSA-16(Co). The 3D printed monoliths can be used to capture carbon dioxide, which can then be used in practical applications.

Everyone knows that the planet has a bit of a carbon dioxide problem, with the burning of coal and other fossil fuels causing an increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere. CO2 and other greenhouse gases absorb and emit infrared radiation, causing a rise in temperature all across the world.

Fortunately, not all CO2 produced by factories and other polluters needs to find its way up into the atmosphere. By using metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) with tuneable physical, structural, and chemical properties, scientists are able to separate the components of gases, ultimately allowing them to box up potentially harmful CO2 for practical applications.

Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology have just taken MOF research a step forward, by using additive manufacturing to make some free-standing MOF monoliths made of MOF-74(Ni) and UTSA-16(Co).

These scientists say their 3D printed MOF monoliths are suitable for use in gas adsorption processes, especially for the removal of CO2 from enclosed environments. This was discovered by carrying out equilibrium and dynamic adsorption experiments on the monoliths.

The two kinds of MOF monolith 3D printed at Missouri University of Science and Technology were made from different materials: MOF-74(Ni) and UTSA-16(Co). Both, however, were found capable of capturing CO2 with stable performance and at a similar rate to non-printed MOF powders: 79 per cent of the powder rate for MOF-74(Ni) and 87 per cent for UTSA-16(Co).

Additionally, the 3D printed monoliths exhibited faster relative adsorption kinetics than powders.

The researchers—Harshul Thakkar, Stephen Eastman, Qasim Al-Naddaf, Ali A. Rownaghi, and Fateme Rezaei—believe their 3D printing study shows promise for CO2 capture, and could ultimately be put to industrial use.

CO2 capture allows companies to acquire necessary CO2 for fizzy drinks, refrigerators, fire extinguishers, inhalable gases in hospitals, and much more.

“Although more work needs to be done to optimize the formulation and fine-tune the characteristics of the monoliths, we believe this work provides a new proof-of-concept prospect for fabricating MOF monoliths that can be used for various adsorptive-based separation processes,” the researchers said.

The researchers’ study, “3D-Printed Metal–Organic Framework Monoliths for Gas Adsorption Processes,” has been published in Applied Materials & Interfaces.

Earlier this year, members of the research group carried out preliminary research in the same vein, concluding that 3D printed CO2 capture systems could be used on spacecraft to ensure astronauts have enough oxygen.

“The 3D printing technique offers an alternative, cost-effective, and facile approach to fabricate structured adsorbents with tuneable structural, chemical, and mechanical properties for use in gas separation processes,” Rezaei said.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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