Removal of hazardous organics from water using metal-organic frameworks (MOFs): Plausible mechanisms for selective adsorptions

Elsevier, Journal of Hazardous Materials, Volume 283, 11 February 2015, Pages 329–339
Zubair Hasan, Sung Hwa Jhung

Provision of clean water is one of the most important issues worldwide because of continuing economic development and the steady increase in the global population. However, clean water resources are decreasing everyday, because of contamination with various pollutants including organic chemicals. Pharmaceutical and personal care products, herbicides/pesticides, dyes, phenolics, and aromatics (from sources such as spilled oil) are typical organics that should be removed from water. Because of their huge porosities, designable pore structures, and facile modification, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are used in various adsorption, separation, storage, and delivery applications. In this review, the adsorptive purifications of contaminated water with MOFs are discussed, in order to understand possible applications of MOFs in clean water provision. More importantly, plausible adsorption or interaction mechanisms and selective adsorptions are summarized. The mechanisms of interactions such as electrostatic interaction, acid–base interaction, hydrogen bonding, π–π stacking/interaction, and hydrophobic interaction are discussed for the selective adsorption of organics over MOFs. The adsorption mechanisms will be very helpful not only for understanding adsorptions but also for applications of adsorptions in selective removal, storage, delivery and so on.