UNT Chemistry Professor and Welch Chair Dr. Shengqian Ma led a multi-institutional team that published a recent article, "Self-Adjusting Metal-Organic Framework for Efficient Capture of Trace Xenon and Krypton" in Angewandte Chemie, one of the top international journals for chemistry research. This groundbreaking article was featured as a highlight in the February 13, 2022 issue of Chemical & Engineering News: "MOF catches xenon and krypton".
The article addresses the capture of xenon and krypton from nuclear reprocessing off-gas--an essential process in the treatment of radioactive waste. Although various porous materials have been employed to capture Xe and Kr, the development of high-performance adsorbents capable of trapping Xe/Kr at very low partial pressure, as in nuclear reprocessing off-gas conditions, remains challenging. The article from Ma's team reports a self-adjusting metal-organic framework based on multiple weak binding interactions to capture trace Xe and Kr from nuclear reprocessing off-gas. This work not only provides a benchmark Xe adsorbent, but also proposes a new route for constructing smart materials for efficient separations.