A critical bottleneck for the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel has been the development of materials capable of storing it in a sufficiently compact form at ambient temperature. Here we report the synthesis of a porous monolithic metal–organic framework (MOF), which after successful packing and densification reaches 259 cm3 (STP) cm−3 capacity. This is the highest value reported to date for conformed shape porous solids, and represents a greater than 50% improvement over any previously reported experimental value. Nanoindentation tests on the monolithic MOF showed robust mechanical properties, with hardness at least 130% greater than that previously measured in its conventional MOF counterparts. Our findings represent a substantial step in the application of mechanically robust conformed and densified MOFs for high volumetric energy storage and other industrial applications.
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This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (NanoMOFdeli), ERC-2016-COG 726380, and the EPSRC IAA Partnership Development Award (RG/75759). D.F.-J. thanks the Royal Society for funding through a University Research Fellowship. J.C.T. would like to acknowledge the EPSRC (EP/N014960/1) for research funding. G.D. and P.A.M. acknowledge financial support from the EU under grant numbers 312483 ESTEEM2 and 291522 3DIMAGE. J.S.A. acknowledges financial support from MINECO (MAT2016-80285-p), H2020 (MSCA-RISE-2016/Nanomed Project) and GV (PROMETEOII/2014/004).
T.T. and D.F.-J. have financial interest in the start-up company Immaterial Labs, which is seeking to commercialize metal–organic frameworks.
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Tian, T., Zeng, Z., Vulpe, D. et al. A sol–gel monolithic metal–organic framework with enhanced methane uptake. Nat. Mater. 17, 174–179 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat5050
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