A newly created metal-organic framework (MOF), MFM-300 (Al), has a selective, reversible and reproducible capability of eliminating atmospheric nitrogen dioxide without being negatively influenced by the environmental conditions.
This finding, made by the University of Manchester, which was validated by scientists using neutron dispersion at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, might eventually yield new air filtration technologies that can trap and cost-effectively transform vast volumes of targeted gases, including CO2, nitrogen dioxide, and other greenhouse gases.
The new material named MFM-300 (Al) revealed the first selective and reversible capturing of nitrogen dioxide at environmental temperatures and pressures, at reduced concentrations, in the presence of humidity, sulfur dioxide, and CO2, as reported by ScienceDaily.
Notwithstanding the very reactive character of nitrogen dioxide, the MFM-300 (Al) material showed itself to be highly resistant, proving its ability to recover several times without losing its porosity or crystallinity.
“This material is the first example of an organic metal frame that exhibits a highly selective and fully reversible ability to repeatedly separate nitrogen dioxide from the air, even in the presence of water,” explained Sihai Yang, a professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the Manchester School of Chemistry.
“Other studies of different porous materials often found that performance was degraded in later cycles by nitrogen dioxide, or that the regeneration process was too difficult and costly,” said Professor Martin Schroder, one of the leading authors of the study.
Neutron scattering techniques were used to confirm the efficiency of the new metal-organic framework, MFM-300 (AI), in removing atmospheric nitrogen dioxide
In their research, the scientists employed neutron scattering techniques at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory to precisely define and verify how MFM-300 (Al) collects the nitrogen dioxide particles from the atmosphere.
“Neutrons can easily penetrate dense materials and are sensitive to lighter elements, such as hydrogen atoms within the MFM [a metal-organic framework] which allowed us to see how nitrogen dioxide molecules are confined within nanometer-sized pores,” explained this procedure Timmy Ramirez-Cuesta, another participant researcher to this study.
The removal of poisonous and greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, such as nitrogen dioxide and CO2, has been a long-standing concern because of their comparatively weak concentrations and the occurrence of humidity in the air, with negative impacts on the segregation of targeted gas particles from other gases.
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