Aluminum formate, Al(HCOO)3: An earth-abundant, scalable, and highly selective material for CO2 capture

Evans H. A., Mullangi D., Deng Z., Wang Y., Peh S. B., Wei F., Wang J., Brown C. M., Zhao D.*, Canepa P.*, and Cheetham A. K.*; Sci. Adv., 8, eade1473 (2022).


A combination of gas adsorption and gas breakthrough measurements show that the metal-organic framework, Al(HCOO)3 (ALF), which can be made inexpensively from commodity chemicals, exhibits excellent CO2 adsorption capacities and outstanding CO2/N2 selectivity that enable it to remove CO2 from dried CO2-containing gas streams at elevated temperatures (323 kelvin). Notably, ALF is scalable, readily pelletized, stable to SO2 and NO, and simple to regenerate. Density functional theory calculations and in situ neutron diffraction studies reveal that the preferential adsorption of CO2 is a size-selective separation that depends on the subtle difference between the kinetic diameters of CO2 and N2. The findings are supported by additional measurements, including Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and variable temperature powder and single-crystal X-ray diffraction.