Application of Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) for Capturing CO2: Advancement and Challenges

Review Article

Austin Chem Eng. 2021; 8(1): 1086.

Application of Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) for Capturing CO2: Advancement and Challenges

Assen AH¹, Adil K² and Belmabkhout Y¹*

¹Technology Development Cell (TechCell), Technology Transfer Office (TTO), Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), Ben Guerir, Morocco

²Le Mans Université, Institut Des Molécules Et Des Matériaux du Mans, Avenue Olivier Messiaen, Le Mans, France

*Corresponding author: Youssef Belmabkhout, Technology Development Cell (TechCell), Technology Transfer Office (TTO), Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), Ben Guerir, Morocco

Received: April 17, 2021; Accepted: June 28, 2021; Published: July 05, 2021


The development of suitable solutions for capturing CO2 is one of the leading technical scenarios, among others, to mitigate greenhouse effect. Among all splitting techniques that could potentially address this important challenge, membrane and swing adsorption technologies are recognized to be of great promise for a variety of CO2 containing gas streams in industry. Nevertheless, the deployment of such technologies requires advanced materials with excellent/suitable thermodynamic and kinetics features that are further married to an optimally engineered design. The ultimate purpose is to achieve the desired high CO2 capturing capacity and efficiency. The targeted materials should possess adequate affinity toward CO2, in addition to high CO2 uptake and excellent chemical stability toward impurities such as SOx and NOx. Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs), solid-sate materials consisting of metal ions or clusters coordinated to organic ligands, showed technically interesting capabilities for gas splitting in general and CO2 capture in particular. This review presents an overview about the perspective of applying MOFs for capturing CO2 from different sources. The authors offer multidisciplinary discussion about the different aspects that would be key elements in progressing or cutting the path of research, development and innovation to final deployment of MOF as adsorbent for capturing CO2. An overview about the main MOFs with reported studies on CO2 capture from different sources will be proposed. Some general direction on how to design MOFs in order to address the trade-off of capacity vs. selectivity, which is highly desirable for large-scale CO2 emitting industries, will also, be given.

Keywords: CO2 emission; CO2 capture; Metal-organic framework; Adsorption thermodynamics; Adsorption kinetics


The fast-growing global energy demands, as a result of the urban and industrial development in recent years, brought serious environmental apprehensions due to the increasingly heavy dependence on fossil fuels combustion in various energy sectors. Accordingly, human being existence is now directly related to side effect of CO2 regeneration. The consequential elevated CO2 gas emissions are thus believed to be the prime cause for the global climate change. Therefore, strategies to alleviate production of such greenhouse gases are of important significance. While the quest for alternative clean renewable energy sources is on the horizon, a rather shorter-medium term resolution would be searching for feasible technologies towards efficient CO2 capture for different sources.

CO2 separation is not a recent problem; it has been widely explored in many areas related to “energy”, “health care” as well as “environment” (Figure 1). Selective CO2 removal from air, natural gas and syngas has been a common engraved practice in chemical, petrochemical, and refinery factories. It has also been, for years an important practice in rebreathers for scuba diving and military applications [1] as well as for air quality in confined spaces such as submarine [1] and space shuttles [2]. In contrast, CO2 separation in the global environmental context has sparked and became one of the main topics driving the research and development in CO2 separation field.