Date: Friday, 1 March 2024
Time: 12pm - 1pm
Duration: 1 hour
Contact: Soumya Mukherjee -


Friday, 1 March 2024 at 12h00
Venue MSG-024/025, Bernal Institute.


Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are highly porous materials with a potential multi-billion-dollar impact in the sorbents industry. However, current states of the art in manufacture have restricted widespread adoption of MOFs for industrial applications, as at scale they deliver poor reproducibility in quality, whilst incurring high energy and capital costs for manufacture. The development of technologies that reduce the cost of manufacture in an efficient and sustainable way is a key enabling step in the transfer of MOF research from the laboratory to industrial application.
Both continuous flow and microwave technologies show great promise for MOF synthesis, offering benefits such as control over MOF structure and properties, substantially reduced reaction times (from hours to seconds), and high space time yields, crucial for scale up. This presentation discusses the Laybourn’s team research on the synthesis of MOFs using continuous flow and bespoke microwave technologies, including understanding the mechanism of MOF formation, the production of novel MOF-hybrids, and work involving a novel continuous flow oscillatory baffled reactor equipped with a homogeneous and controllable microwave applicator. Notably, their bespoke technologies are capable of synthesising MOFs on extraordinary timescales (ca. 2.2 seconds) and with astonishingly high space time yields (STY) of 6.32 × 105 kg/m3/day, demonstrating the highest reported STY and fastest route to MOFs produced via any method to-date. The high level of control over MOF properties, afforded by these technologies, which are essential for practical applications, will be showcased during this presentation.


Andrea Laybourn received both her MChem and PhD from the Department of Chemistry at University of Liverpool. Following this she undertook postdoctoral research on metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) in the School of Chemistry at the University of Nottingham. She was then awarded a prestigious Nottingham Research Fellowship to develop continuous flow microwave methodologies for the production of MOFs. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Advanced Materials Research Group in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham. She received the 2023 Barrer Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry for outstanding contributions towards developing the sustainable synthesis of porous materials, with a particular emphasis on microwave and continuous flow synthesis.


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