Catalytic degradation of chemical warfare agents and their simulants by metal-organic frameworks

Yangyang Liu, Ashlee J. Howarth, Nicholaas A. Vermeulen, Su Young Moon, Joseph T. Hupp, Omar K. Farha*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

192 Scopus citations


Since sulfur mustard was first used in World War I, significant efforts have been made in materials and methods development for the adsorption and detoxification of different classes of chemical warfare agents (CWAs). Considering the importance of efficiency and safety in this process, catalytic degradation is a viable approach for fast and complete detoxification of CWAs. To date, a variety of catalysts have been discovered to be active for the degradation of nerve agents and sulfur mustard. Among the most promising are a class of porous functional materials named metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). In the past few years, tremendous progress has been made in this field including the discovery of zirconium MOF catalysts for fast nerve agent hydrolysis. In this review, we summarize recent advances in the development of MOF catalysts for the hydrolysis of nerve agents as well as the oxidation of sulfur mustard. Dual function MOF catalysts, i.e. catalysts that can detoxify nerve agents and sulfur mustard simultaneously, are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-111
Number of pages11
JournalCoordination Chemistry Reviews
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • Catalysis
  • Detoxification
  • Dual function
  • Metal-organic frameworks
  • Nerve agent
  • Singlet oxygen
  • Sulfur mustard

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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