“Disruptive Membrane Technology based on MOF Materials: Towards Advanced CO2 Capture and Green Production”
Dr. Alexander Knebel
To stop global warming and greenhouse gas emissions, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are highly potential candidates for the development of a disruptive membrane technology in key separation and purification applications. Membranes - as simple, physical barriers - are able to capture CO2 actively, e.g. by placing them in a waste gas stream. Additionally, membranes can reduce the energy consumption of separation and purification processes in comparison to conventional separations (e.g. distillation) by up to 80%, thus reducing CO2 passively. Therefore, our focus lies on materials engineering for the purpose of carbon capture and the green production: The preparation of MOF particles and thin films, development of neat MOF or mixed matrix polymer-filler membranes and their application in gas separation. We are bridging the gap from synthesis and shaping of materials. We realize novel material concepts by home-build technical equipment, characterize physical properties of MOFs and demonstrate unique separation mechanisms. We show the development of novel material concepts: Fundamentally, we investigate stimuli responsive, switchable MOFs that can control gas separation in-situ towards a multi-purpose “universal membrane”; Focusing on real-life applications, we develop ways towards high-performance materials. Here, we invented the first MOF-based liquids with permanent porosity and applied them for the green production of propylene.