Ordered Mesoporous Silica- Metal Organic Composite Adsorbent


Vanderbilt researchers have developed a novel biphasic adsorbent material that is useful for the removal of contaminant molecules, including toxic light gases, from gases and liquids. This revolutionary material provides enhanced adsorption capacity and stability for a broad range of chemicals compared to conventional commercial and research grade adsorbent materials.

Addressed Need

• A growing importance has been placed on air purification with the advent of air quality threats ranging from pollution to terrorism

• With this developing focus, the ability to remove light gases such as industrial chemicals and chemical warfare agents reliably from the air or water supplies is a necessity

• According to the technical market research firm Business Communications Company, the estimated global market for microporous adsorbent materials in 2012 was $2.12 billion (http://www.physorg.com/news5208.html).

Technology Description

This technology consists of a novel composite adsorbent material useful for removing contaminant molecules from fluids, including toxic light gases from air. It is a two-phase composite material composed of a metal-organic (MO) phase in conjunction with an ordered mesoporous silica (OMS) phase. OMS materials are a family of siliceous materials that are popular adsorbents due to their large surface areas and ordered porous structures and MO materials also exhibit larger surface areas and open structures which can have high capacities for light gases. The synthesis of the novel OMS-MO materials involves metal ions incorporated into OMS materials using wet chemistry methods. After immobilizing the metal within the silica framework precursor, aromatic linkers are added to the reaction mixture.

Unique Features and Competitive Advantages

• Enhanced stability from the OMS phase

• Ability to be conditioned at high temperature and relative humidity

• MO phase promotes additional physical and chemical adsorption capacity

• OMS-MO materials show adsorption capacity higher than that of the base MOS material

• OMS-MO materials show adsorption capacities up to several times higher than commercially available materials

Technology Development Status

Proof-of-concept OMS-MO material combinations have been synthesized and tested.  See Furtado, A. M.  B., Liu, J., Wang, Yu, and LeVan, M. D., "Mesoporous Silica -- Metal Organic Composite: Synthesis, Characterization, and Ammonia Adsorption," J. Materials Chemistry, 21, 6698-6706 (2011)

Intellectual Property Status

US Patent US20120152845 A1 has been filed

Inventor Bio: http://engineering.vanderbilt.edu/bio/m-douglas-levan

M. Douglas LeVanAmanda FurtadoJian LiuYu Wang
Licensing manager: 
Ashok Choudhury

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