Scalable continuous solvothermal synthesis of metal organic framework (MOF-5) crystals

Colin McKinstry, Russell J. Cathcart, Edmund J. Cussen, Ashleigh J. Fletcher, Siddharth V. Patwardhan, Jan Sefcik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Citations (Scopus)
193 Downloads (Pure)


Metal-organic frameworks (MOF)s are well suited as nanoporous materials for applications such as gas storage, catalysis and in medical devices. Literature predominantly covers information on the batch synthesis of MOF-5, however, for an industrially viable product to be formed, bridging the gap to scalable continuous processing is essential. Here, we show that crystals of MOF-5 can be formed in a scalable solvothermal continuous process with a maximum space time yield of nearly 1000 kg m-3 day-1. Analysis of the solid output as a function of time, in conjunction with variation of concentration of the feed supply, shows high purity MOF-5 is produced using a continuous system, with potentially high throughput on scale up. We also show that the output can be increased by increasing the concentration of reactants in the system, albeit resulting in a reduced surface area. The two most common solvents currently used for MOF-5 production are also compared to identify a more economically viable process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)718-725
Number of pages8
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Early online date22 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016


  • manufacturing
  • microporous materials
  • Zn4O(BDC)3


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