Mapping the Cu-BTC metal-organic framework (HKUST-1) stability envelope in the presence of water vapour for CO2 adsorption from flue gases

Nadeen Al-Janabi, Patrick Hill, Laura Torrente-Murciano, Arthur Garforth, Patricia Gorgojo, Flor Siperstein, Xiaolei Fan

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Cu-BTC metal-organic framework (HKUST-1) was evaluated as the model material for CO2 capture from flue gas streams. This paper presents an optimised hydrothermal synthesis of HKUST-1 and an analysis of water stability of HKUST-1. Substantial improvements of the hydrothermal synthesis process of HKUST-1 are shown to increase the quantitative yield up to 89.4% at 100°C. Single-component adsorption experiments were carried out under conditions relevant for flue gases adsorption (45-60°C, 0-1barG) to evaluate the performance of HKUST-1 in terms of adsorption capacity, showing that the amount adsorbed of water can reach up to 21.7mmolg-1, about one order of magnitude higher than CO2 (1.75mmolg-1) and almost two orders of magnitude higher than N2 (0.17mmolg-1). The hydration process of HKUST-1 framework was investigated using dynamic vapour adsorption under the flue gas emitting conditions. HKUST-1 is sensitive to humid streams and dynamic deformation of its porous structure takes place at 40-50°C and various relative humidity values, leading to the irreversible decomposition of HKUST-1 framework and the consequent deterioration in its adsorption capacity. Under humid conditions, water displaces the organic linkers from the copper centres causing the collapse of HKUST-1 framework. These results provide fundamental knowledge to enable future material design for the modification of the hydrophilic nature of copper sites in HKUST-1 to improve its moisture stability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-677
Number of pages9
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Early online date9 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • Flue gas
  • HKUST-1
  • Hydrothermal synthesis
  • Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs)
  • Stability
  • Water vapour adsorption


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