Development of Metal-Organic Framework@Fiber-based Solid State Catalyst for Degradation of Chemical Warfare Agents: A.1.a.i.4

Project: Research project

Project Details


Organophosphonate-based nerve agents, such as VX, Sarin (GB), and Soman (GD), are among the most toxic chemicals to humankind. Unfortunately, nerve agents have found continued use against civilian populations by terrorist organizations throughout recent history, underscoring the need for methods capable of rapidly destroying these agents. Current filtration systems are composed of fibers for particulate capture and activated carbon blended with metal-oxides which suffers from slow uptake and reactivity. To this end, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have been proposed as promising catalytic materials. MOFs are self-assembled and atomically precise porous materials comprised of metal ions/clusters and organic linkers. MOFs have been employed as catalysts and catalyst supports, in part due to their ordered nature, structural tunability, and permanent porosity. Owing to their high surface area, periodic distribution of metal sites, and water stability, zirconium-based metal–organic frameworks (Zr-MOFs) have shown promising activity for the hydrolysis of the nerve agents GD and VX, as well as the simulant, dimethyl 4-nitrophenylphosphate (DMNP), in buffered solutions. A hurdle to using MOFs for this application is the current need for a basic aqueous solution. Additionally, utilizing these materials in powder form is not practical, and, thus, developing scalable and economical processes for integrating these materials onto fibers is crucial for protective gear applications. In search of a more economical method for the synthesis of MOF-coated textiles, we recently reported a template-free, scalable, and aqueous solution-based strategy to incorporate Zr-MOFs onto polyester fibers. While all previous achievements brought us closer to the catalytic systems that are plausible for practical applications, there are still several fundamental questions that need to be addressed. In this proposal we will tackle the generality of the coating method with different fibers since other fibers might be required for different applications, identify basic polymers in order to increase the performance of the system and address the diffusion and selectivity trends in the composite system. We will pursue a fundamental understanding of the numerous variables that influence the performance of the materials. This approach will provide invaluable insight into the design, synthesis, and optimization of these composites for different applications in protective gear and masks.
Effective start/end date7/1/20 → 8/31/24


  • Army Research Office (W911NF2020136 P00004)


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