Biological Chitin-MOF composites with hierarchical pore systems for air-filtration applications
Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are promising materials for gas-separation and air-filtration applications. However, for these applications, MOF crystallites need to be incorporated in robust and manageable support materials. We used chitin-based networks from a marine sponge as a non-toxic, biodegradable, and low-weight support material for MOF deposition. The structural properties of the material favor predominant nucleation of the MOF crystallites at the inside of the hollow fibers. This composite has a hierarchical pore system with surface areas up to 800 m2g-1 and pore volumes of 3.6 cm3g-1, allowing good transport kinetics and a very high loading of the active material. Ammonia break-through experiments highlight the accessibility of the MOF crystallites and the adsorption potential of the composite indicating their high potential for filtration applications for toxic industrial gases.