200 College Street
Toronto ON M5S 3E5
George Shimizu, University of Calgary
Host: Prof. Mohamad Moosavi
Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are transcending from fundamental to applied research, but their use in a large-scale process has not yet been realized. For many industrial uses, MOFs face a challenge of economical performance in a durable, scalable material implementable in an appropriate engineered form. This presentation will deal with three short stories spanning our efforts to design new porous solids while keeping an eye on real-world applications.
The first story concerns the use of MOFs as proton conductors. MOFs offer tunable structures capable of being loaded with protic carrier molecules. Key challenges were initially to enhance stability and levels of proton conduction. Numerous promising examples exist now and a higher technology challenge is the formation of high-performing membranes. Some of our recent work on making high-loaded MOF membranes based on cellulosic composites will be presented.
The second part will deal with a new approach to make MOFs. MOFs typically rely on a reticular (net-based) approach where metal and organic linkers define a topology and pore sizes. We have developed a new route to MOFs where the guest molecules can play a much greater role in structure determination – rather than simply filling the void, determining its structure. This approach relies on robust H-bonded intermediates. Results on the use of this approach for xylene isomer separation will be presented.
Finally, MOFs can be used like a sponge to trap selected gases and release them under some external stimulus (e.g., pressure drop, temperature increase). Such an approach has been challenging for post-combustion carbon capture owing to the presence of water and acid gases in the stream. CO2. We have developed a solid that has moved up the technology ladder, with different academic and industrial partners, to actually be capturing CO2 industrially at 25 tonnes per day scale. This talk will discuss some of the basic science and also the hurdles to translate from milligrams to industrial demonstration including the key aspect of being able to physisorb CO2 in the presence of water.
George Shimizu completed a Ph.D. (Inorganic Chemistry) at the University of Windsor with Steve Loeb. This was followed by an NSERC postdoctoral position with Fraser Stoddart (Supramolecular Chemistry) at the University of Birmingham and an NSERC Visiting Fellow/Associate Research Officer position with John Ripmeester and Dan Wayner (Functional Materials) at the National Research Council. In 1998, Shimizu moved to the Department of Chemistry at the University of Calgary. Currently, he is a Full Professor and his research concerns novel inorganic-organic materials, mainly metal-organic frameworks.
All group research begins at a very fundamental level, but it is application-directed, and we strive to translate basic science to demonstration. Most work falls in the fields of gas separation with solid sorbents and proton conductors. Three startup companies have emerged from the group’s MOF research. George has received the Strem (2008) and Rio Tinto (2019) Awards for Inorganic Chemistry from the Chemical Institute of Canada and the Alberta Science and Technology Leadership Foundation Award for Energy and Environment Innovation (2021).
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