Depletion of fossil oil deposits and the escalating threat of global warming have put clean energy research, which includes the search for clean energy carriers such as hydrogen and methane as well as the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, on the urgent agenda. A significant technical challenge has been recognized as the development of a viable method to efficiently trap hydrogen, methane and carbon dioxide gas molecules in a confined space for various applications. This issue can be addressed by employing highly porous materials as storage media, and porous metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) which have exceptionally high surface areas as well as chemically-tunable structures are playing an unusual role in this respect. In this feature article we provide an overview of the current status of clean energy applications of porous MOFs, including hydrogen storage, methane storage and carbon dioxide capture.
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