MOFs are comprised of clusters of atoms that are connected by organic molecules. MOFs have identically sized pores, making it very easy to capture and detect toxic substances that are mixed with other materials or that are present in low concentrations.
Scientists discovered that by using a sieving paraquat, which is a herbicide (linked to Parkinson’s Disease onset), MOFs have the ability to filter the toxins from the water. This is because MOFs are flexible and can change their structure easily after absorbing the paraquat.
Additionally, MOFs have the ability to store or separate gases, and their uniform structure makes them incredibly efficient filters. Scientists believe their study demonstrates how MOFs could be used to instantaneously test for contaminants in water.
This study used only one paraquat, but scientists believe that other paraquats would also demonstrate filtering ability.
Editor’s note: MOFs have also been proposed in the past as alternatives to high-pressure hydrogen storage, since they can bind to hydrogen molecules at very low pressures. Actually, so far they are the single best (alternative) solution to the hydrogen transportation issue.