Investigating the effect of alumina shaping on the sorption properties of promising metal–organic frameworks†
Three promising MOF candidates, UiO-66(Zr), MIL-100(Fe) and MIL-127(Fe) are shaped through granulation with a ρ-alumina binder. Subsequently, changes in the surface characteristics and adsorption performance are evaluated through adsorption microcalorimetry at 303 K with several common probes (N2, CO2, CO, CH4, C2H6, C3H8, C3H6 and C4H10), generating a detailed picture of adsorbate–adsorbent interactions. Vapour adsorption experiments with water and methanol were further used to gauge changes in hydrophobicity caused by the addition of the alumina binder. Upon shaping, a decrease in gravimetric capacity and specific surface area is observed, accompanied by an increased capacity on a volumetric basis, attributed to densification induced by the shaping process, as well as a surprising lack of pore environment changes. However, the magnitude of these effects depends on the MOF, suggesting a high dependence on material structure. Out of the three materials, MIL-127(Fe) shows the least changes in adsorption performance and is highlighted as a promising candidate for further study.