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Combining continuous flow oscillatory baffled reactors and microwave heating: Process intensification and accelerated synthesis of metal-organic frameworks

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Adam Harvey



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


© 2018 Elsevier B.V. We have constructed a continuous flow oscillatory baffled reactor (CF-OBR) equipped with a homogeneous and controllable microwave applicator in an entirely novel design. This affords a new route to chemical production incorporating many of the principles of process intensification and allows, for the first time, investigation of the synergistic benefits of microwave heating and CF-OBRs such as; faster and continuous processing; improved product properties and purity; improved control over the processing parameters; and reduced energy consumption. The process is demonstrated by the production of a metal-organic framework (MOF), HKUST-1, a highly porous crystalline material with potential applications in gas storage and separation, catalysis, and sensing. Our reactor enabled the production of HKUST-1 at the 97.42 g/h scale, with a space time yield (STY) of 6.32 × 105 kg/m3/day and surface area production rate (SAPR) of 1.12 × 1012 m2/m3/day. This represents the highest reported STY and fastest reported synthesis (2.2 s) for any MOF produced via any method to-date and is an improvement on the current SAPR for HKUST-1 by two orders of magnitude owing to the superior porosity exhibited by HKUST-1 produced using our rig (Langmuir surface area of 1772 compared to 600 m2/g).

Publication metadata

Author(s): Laybourn A, Lopez-Fernandez AM, Thomas-Hillman I, Katrib J, Lewis W, Dodds C, Harvey AP, Kingman SW

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Chemical Engineering Journal

Year: 2019

Volume: 356

Pages: 170-177

Print publication date: 15/01/2019

Online publication date: 04/09/2018

Acceptance date: 02/09/2018

Date deposited: 21/02/2019

ISSN (print): 1385-8947

ISSN (electronic): 1873-3212

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2018.09.011


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