Final Report: Nanoporous Metal Organic Framework Filters for Removal of Gaseous Pollutants

EPA Contract Number: EPD10018
Title: Nanoporous Metal Organic Framework Filters for Removal of Gaseous Pollutants
Investigators: Ni, Zheng Richard
Small Business: Cbana Labs, Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: March 1, 2010 through August 31, 2010
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2010) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Nanotechnology


The objective of this proposal is to evaluate the feasibility of using some newly discovered materials, water stable metal-organic frameworks (MOF), as filters for pollutants common in indoor air.   By way of background, our recent Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) supported work has shown that a new class of water stable MOFs show unprecedented adsorption capacity for a chemical weapons agent simulant: 0.23 gms of dimethyl methylphosphonate (DMMP) per cc of adsorbent at room temperature.  The materials are stable in air and do not adsorb water. Synthesis can be conducted in less than a minute using a household microwave. 
During Phase I of this SBIR project, Cbana Labs, Inc., modified the adsorbents for creating porous networks of the materials that are suitable for toxic industrial compound (TIC) capture; tested and evaluated the adsorption performance of our water stable MOFs, tradenamed Banasorb™, on various TIC vapors; and built pellets and other structures to allow polluted air flows through the adsorbent bed with a low pressure drop.

Summary/Accomplishments (Outputs/Outcomes):

Key accomplishments achieved during Phase I include:
1.    Modified the porous molecular structure of Banasorb adsorbent successfully; several modified Banasorbs demonstrated an improved adsorption on TICs.
2.    Conducted a detailed adsorption evaluation of 17 TIC compounds and found that almost all TICs can be adsorbed efficiently in the adsorbent with breakthrough volume larger than 10 liter/gram at ambient temperature.
3.    Investigated different ways of making low pressure drop structure loaded with MOF. Cbana demonstrated that MOF can be spray-coated on porous metal screens and produced in pellet form. Adsorption tests on these MOF pellets showed very encouraging results.


In conclusion, Cbana's Phase I research has proven the feasibility of using Banasorb as an efficient adsorbent for removal of pollutants common in indoor air. Pore structures and adsorption features of these water stable Banasorbs can be fine tuned to increase their capacity and selectivity on specific TICs. They can be spray-coated on a desired substrate or made in pellet form, which makes Banasorb ready for a much broader range of industrial applications.

The water stable Banasorb offers competitive advantages in the following markets:
  • Indoor air quality (IAQ) monitoring and remediation
  • Industrial pollution containment and elimination. 
There are a variety of applications for water-stable MOFs beyond the pollutant capture arena.  Some of the most significant opportunities are listed below.
  • Narcotics detection
  • Cargo monitoring
  • Explosives detection
  • Lung cancer screening 
Foresight Science & Technology completed a Technology Niche Analysis (TNA) for Cbana during the Phase I period. A number of potential established partners were identified. Cbana's strategic plan is to work with any of these partners to commercialize the materials developed in this project with Cbana licensing the technology and providing materials and expertise as needed. 

Journal Articles on this Report : 1 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other project views: All 1 publications 1 publications in selected types All 1 journal articles
Type Citation Project Document Sources
Journal Article Wu T, Shen L, Luebbers M, Hu C, Chen Q, Ni Z, Masel RI. Enhancing the stability of metal-organic frameworks in humid air by incorporating water repellent functional groups. Chemical Communications 2010;46(33):6120-6122. EPD10018 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Abstract: Chemical Communications
  • Supplemental Keywords:

    small business, SBIR, EPA, nanotechnology, metal-organic frameworks, MOF, indoor air pollutants, toxic industrial capture, air filters