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Metal-Organic Frameworks as Tunable Platforms for Gas Storage and Catalysis

When Apr 05, 2017
from 04:00 PM to 05:00 PM
Where LT2 Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Philippa Fawcett Drive, West Cambridge site
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Speaker: Prof. Randall Snurr from Northwestern University



Prof Snurr focuses on adsorption, diffusion, and catalysis in nanoporous materials. We are interested in novel materials such as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), as well as traditional materials such as zeolites that are already widely used in industry. Porous materials with well-controlled structures at the nanoscale can be extremely useful because of their ability to recognize and discriminate between adsorbed molecules. This leads to applications of nanoporous materials in adsorption separations, catalysis, membrane processes, sensing, and energy storage. 

Most of the projects in our group are aimed at solving problems related to energy or the environment.  Examples include development of materials to store hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles, development of materials for capturing carbon dioxide from power plant flue gas (carbon capture and sequestration), development of energy-efficient separations, and development of highly selective catalysts for green chemistry processes.

To address these problems, we use powerful molecular modeling techniques. Our goal is to develop a better understanding of surface interactions and dynamics in nanoporous materials and to exploit this molecular-level information to develop new, highly-selective processes in adsorption separations, catalysis, and energy storage. Another goal of our research is to develop new simulation methods that can handle an ever-broader range of time and length scales to address important problems that cannot be simulated with current techniques. Several experimental techniques, especially adsorption measurements, play an important role in our work, either within our group or through collaborations.