Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Metal-organic frameworks for selective capture and processing of CO2 into valuable products

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.04.03  Natural sciences and mathematics  Chemistry  Inorganic chemistry 

Code Science Field
P305  Natural sciences and mathematics  Environmental chemistry 

Code Science Field
1.04  Natural Sciences  Chemical sciences 
metal-organic frameworks, CO2 capture, CO2 conversion, polymer composites
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (11)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  33203  PhD Tomaž Čendak  Physics  Researcher  2017 - 2020  41 
2.  12624  PhD Amalija Golobič  Chemistry  Researcher  2017 - 2020  359 
3.  28412  PhD Sebastijan Kovačič  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2019 - 2020  177 
4.  25023  PhD Matjaž Mazaj  Chemistry  Head  2017 - 2020  285 
5.  08790  PhD Anton Meden  Chemistry  Researcher  2018 - 2020  648 
6.  19195  PhD Franc Perdih  Chemistry  Researcher  2017 - 2020  411 
7.  29397  PhD Marta Počkaj  Chemistry  Researcher  2017 - 2020  102 
8.  34546  PhD Andraž Šuligoj  Chemistry  Researcher  2017 - 2020  104 
9.  38260  PhD Nika Vrtovec  Materials science and technology  Junior researcher  2017 - 2020  16 
10.  50708  Anna Zabilska    Technical associate  2018 
11.  14120  PhD Nataša Zabukovec Logar  Chemistry  Researcher  2017 - 2020  536 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0103  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology  Ljubljana  1626990  23,092 
2.  0104  National Institute of Chemistry  Ljubljana  5051592000  20,982 
The process of CO2 capture, storage and utilization (CCSU) represents one of the most important part of the advanced technologies for the exploitation of this very abundant and renewable source. Selective adsorption of CO2 on solid materials at mild conditions is an optimal way of gas storage for further chemical processing. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) can exhibit high adsorption capacities for the selective CO2 capture. Furthermore, catalytically active sites which are present in their crystal frameworks enable CO2 conversion into the valuable products. Specific chemical and structural properties of MOFs enable inclusion of additional adsorption and catalytic sites into their frameworks in controllable manner, therefore MOFs are one of the most promising  systems for CCSU processes. In the proposed project we aim to develop new bi-functional MOF monoliths with capabilities of selective CO2 capture and its further catalytic conversion into the valuable organic products. The project will involve two main objectives: (1) development of MOFs using proper post-synthetic inclusion of functional sites. Modification will be performed by partial incorporation of primary amines or quaternary ammonium groups with the purpose of the improvement of CO2-to-framework interactions and consequently the improvement of the CO2 sorption capacity and its activation at mild conditions; (2) the use of selected MOF systems for the selective CO2 capture from the gas mixtures (eg. CO2/N2 or CO2/CH4 or CO2/N2/O2) in the first phase, and tests of catalytic cycloaddition of epoxides into the cyclic carbonates in the presence of the captured CO2 in the second phase. Studies will include the effect of the co-catalysts (quaternary ammonium salts) on catalytic perfromances as well. As an upgrade, the selected metal-organic frameworks with most promising sorption and catralytic performances will be integrated into the macroporous polymer matrices (polyHIPE – polymer high internal phase emulsion) and thus design MOF membranes or monoliths with the desired dimensions. For the development of MOF/polyHIPE composites two strategies will be used: (1) direct incorporation of MOF phases into monomer emulsion followed by polymerization and shaping into the proper form; (2) innovative approach of the secondary MOF crystallization by solvothermal processes from metal-oxide precursors initially included into polyHIPE matrix, which we developed in our research group. Such way of the composite preparation enable unlimited shaping possibilities and high accessibility of active phase (MOFs) due to the highly macroporous nature of polymer matrix. The use of MOF adsorbents/catalysts for the synthesis of cyclic carbonates represents economically more favorable alternative to the conventional synthetic paths, which are performed under high pressures and temperatures. Moreover, the development of MOF/polymer composites in the form of membranes and monolith, which would significantly expand their applicability, is still in developing stage. Synthesis strategy of MOF/polyHIPE composites by secondary growth from metal-oxide precursors initially included into polymer matrix is a new approach, not yet described in the literature. This approach would address two important issues of MOF/polymer composites: (1) mechanical stability with high loadings of MOFs within the polymer matrix, (2) homogenous dispersion of MOF phase throughout the polymer matrix with high accessibility for hosting molecules. The new concept would enable the development of broad assortment of novel MOF/polymer heterostructures adapted also for other applications (gas purification, sensors, etc.).
Significance for science
The interest for the research on the field of MOFs rapidly increases for a decade. Important improvements and discoveries in the field have therefore high impact among the huge number of the world wide MOF community. The project proposes the strategy of the development of new multifunctional MOF systems. The achieved goals represent two major novelties, which have never been described in the literature: (1) providing the selective CO2 capture and at the same time its conversion. Such system would be able to purify the feedstock gases with considerable amounts of CO2 and its exploitation to produce valuable organic products; (2) new approach of MOF shaping into MOF/polymeric monoliths from metal-oxide precursors.   The achieved goals (intermediate as well as the final ones) will enable publications in the established scientific journals with high impact factors. The flexibility of the approaches of modifications and shaping of MOFs into the monoliths enable the expansion of the concept on wider range of MOFs, which can be developed and upgraded after finishing this project. The published approaches will have a significant impact in the field of MOF science on the world wide level. This will enable easier involvement into new consortiums for EU project applications, which would accelerate further development of the concept for CO2 capture and conversion applications. New additional potential discoveries and knowledges, which are out of the scope of this project and can be gained during the research work, would enable new application opportunities that can be explored in new projects in the future. Diversity of methodologies used in this project (crystal engineering, adsorption of gases, catalytic processes) and merged into one system open up the opportunities for the results, which can have an important impact for further development of MOFs and MOF composites for CCSU technologies.
Significance for the country
The important part of the project is devoted to the investigations of the possibility to implement new bifunctional MOFs into the applied systems by integration into the MOF/polyHIPE monoliths. Gained results of these investigations can be the basics for the establishment of new consortiums for applicative projects together with industrial partners. The development of the advanced technologies of carbon capture and storage (CCS) is namely of the great importance for the industry. Products, which can be developed from the results of these applicative projects, could be integrated particularly into the smaller, pilot systems for the feedstock gas purification.
Most important scientific results Interim report, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Interim report, final report
Views history