Research Highlights

A carbon capture breakthrough

Published online 2 June 2013

Biplab Das

Carbon dioxide is a major contributor to climate change and is hard to remove. New research in carbon capture technology has been made by researchers led by Mohamed Eddaoudi from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. The results are a positive step for scientists working to find ways to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

Eddaoudi and his team produced a new class of crystalline, porous metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) that can capture CO2 at very low concentrations.

The MOFs, described in a recent issue of the Journal of American Chemical Society, contains a cluster of rare-earth metal ions linked by organic compounds containing inorganic (fluorine) and organic (tetrazolate) functional groups. In experiments, the MOFs selectively captured traces of CO2 gas in a mixture with nitrogen gas.

The MOFs' unique structure allows a highly localized charge density that facilitates the binding of CO2 molecules to their surface at low concentrations. In addition, the MOFs showed stability when exposed to water and heat — vital properties for use in carbon capture applications.

"These MOFs are tunable and thus can be designed in the future to capture CO2 gas over a wide range of concentrations, making them suitable for use in post-combustion processes in stationary and mobile applications," says Eddaoudi.


  1. Xue, D. et al. Tunable rare-earth fcu-MOFs: a platform for systematic enhancement of CO2 adsorption energetics and uptake. J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2013) doi:10.1021/ja401429x