Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Metal-Organic Frameworks for Use in High-Pressure Sorption and Separations

Technology #3140

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Omar M. Yaghi
Managed By
Jeremy Nelson
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending


Carbon dioxide has a greater impact on the environment than any other anthropogenic greenhouse gas due to the sheer amount discharged into the atmosphere by fossil fuel combustion. Carbon dioxide levels have increased significantly since the beginning of the industrial revolution, resulting in a global warming trend and increased acidity of oceans. Thus, mitigation technologies are necessary for the short- and long-term capture and storage of carbon dioxide. Removal of carbon dioxide from the flue exhaust of power plants is commonly accomplished by chilling and pressurizing the exhaust or by passing the fumes through a fluidized bed of aqueous amine solution, both of which are costly and inefficient. These and other methods work to some extent, but more cost effective and high capacity technologies are necessary to cope with the overwhelming amount of carbon dioxide currently generated.


Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a superior gas storage system with a contained metal-organic framework. These frameworks demonstrate exceedingly high uptake of various gases at ambient temperature and high pressures. They have sufficient surface area to store at least ten carbon dioxide molecules per formula unit of the metal-organic framework at a temperature of 25 degrees Celsius. Advantageously, the metal-organic framework has a periodic structure for which carbon dioxide uptake and release is fully reversible. Moreover, the metal-organic framework is thermally stable, and sufficiently flexible in that chemical functionalization and molecular level fine-tuning can be achieved for optimized uptake capacities.

Applications and Advantages


  • Gas molecule storage system, specifically carbon dioxide


  • Exceedingly high uptake of gases
  • Carbon dioxide uptake and release is-nl-fully reversible
  • Framework is thermally stable and sufficiently flexible for capacity optimization