ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
The removal of low concentrations of acetic acid from indoor air at museums poses serious preservation problems that the current adsorbents cannot easily address owing to their poor affinity for acetic acid and/or their low adsorption selectivity versus water. In this context, a series of topical water-stable metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) with different pore sizes, topologies, hydrophobic characters, and functional groups was explored through a joint experimental-computational exploration. We demonstrate how a subtle combination of sufficient hydrophobicity and optimized host-guest interactions allows one to overcome the challenge of capturing traces of this very polar volatile organic compound in the presence of humidity. The optimal capture of acetic acid was accomplished with MOFs that do not show polar groups in the inorganic node or have lipophilic but polar (e.g., perfluoro) groups functionalized to the organic linkers, that is, the best candidates from the list of explored MOFs are MIL-140B and UiO-66-2CF3. These two MOFs present the appropriate pore size to favor a high degree of confinement, together with organic spacers that allow an enhancement of the van der Waals interactions with the acetic acid. We establish in this work that MOFs can be a viable solution to this highly challenging problem in cultural heritage protection, which is a new field of application for this type of hybrid materials. © 2018 American Chemical Society.
Year of publication: 2018