The generation of metal–organic framework (MOF) coordination polymers enables the tailoring of novel solids with regular porosity from the micro to nanopore scale. Since the discovery of this new family of nanoporous materials and the concept of so called ‘reticular design’, nowadays several hundred different types of MOF are known. The self assembly of metal ions, which act as coordination centres, linked together with a variety of polyatomic organic bridging ligands, results in tailorable nanoporous host materials as robust solids with high thermal and mechanical stability. Describing examples of different zinc-containing structures, e.g. MOF-2, MOF-5 and IRMOF-8 verified synthesis methods will be given, as well as a totally novel electrochemical approach for transition metal based MOFs will be presented for the first time. With sufficient amounts of sample now being available, the testing of metal–organic frameworks in fields of catalysis and gas processing is exemplified. Report is given on the catalytic activation of alkynes (formation of methoxypropene from propyne, vinylester synthesis from acetylene). Removal of impurities in natural gas (traces of tetrahydrothiophene in methane), pressure swing separation of rare gases (krypton and xenon) and storage of hydrogen (3.3 wt% at 2.0 MPa/77 K on Cu-BTC-MOF) will underline the prospective future industrial use of metal–organic frameworks in gas processing. Whenever possible, comparison is made to state-of-art applications in order to outline possibilities which might be superior by using MOFs.
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