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Posted on July 3, 2024 by  & 

Why MOF Players Are Becoming Carbon Capture Companies

Owing to their exceptional design flexibility, structural versatility, and high porosity, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are gathering interest for a wide range of applications, such as water harvesting for HVAC, direct lithium extraction, refrigerant reclamation, hydrogen storage, chemical purifications, and many more. In particular, carbon capture is fast emerging as a key application of MOFs, resulting from the high CO2 selectivity, cycling stability, and low energy requirements for regeneration. It offers the potential for significant reductions in operational costs compared to incumbent amine scrubbing. In the last 3-5 years, several startups have strategically pivoted to focus on MOF-based carbon capture technologies. With commercial systems expected to enter the market before the turn of the decade, IDTechEx's report on the topic "Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) 2024-2034: Market, Technology, and Players" predicts a 33-fold growth in the demand for MOFs in carbon capture between 2027 and 2034.
 
Examples of MOF players pivoting towards carbon capture. Source: IDTechEx
 
Startups rebranding as carbon capture technology developers
 
 
Carbon capture is a growing market. Here, MOF-based technologies are positioned well to capitalize on the significantly lower energy requirements when compared to incumbent technologies, and the resulting savings in operational costs.
 
Belfast-based Nuada initially traded as MOF Technologies; however, since 2020, it has been solely operating as a carbon capture technology provider, which was a major factor in its rebranding to Nuada in 2023. The company is targeting its MOF-based technology at hard-to-abate sectors, particularly the cement industry, announcing a fully operational pilot trial at Buzzi Unicem's Italian facility in June 2024. Similarly, several other MOF players have also taken the plunge into carbon capture technologies due to the growing commercial opportunities, such as Mosaic Materials, UniSieve, and SyncMOF.
 
With several pilot and pre-commercial trials, there is an opportunity for MOF-based technologies to gain market share in a growing carbon capture market as a cost-effective alternative, particularly for point source capture systems. While these technologies are operating at a substantially lower scale than incumbent amine scrubbing, there is also potential to rapidly scale and adapt these modular technologies. For example, Australian startup AspiraDAC told IDTechEx that a key benefit of its modular technology is that it has the inherent flexibility to change the MOF-based sorbents within the system as MOFs continue to develop within the field.
 
 
Manufacturers focusing on carbon capture applications
 
There is also a growing number of partnerships between MOF manufacturers and carbon capture technology innovators to develop and commercialize modular carbon capture systems.
 
Promethean Particles, established in 2007, was founded to manufacture and commercialize a range of advanced materials. However, it made a strategic pivot to focus on the production of MOFs, with carbon capture as a lead commercial opportunity. Following an initial research exercise in 2012 on the production of MOFs, the company accelerated its efforts in 2021 to develop and upscale these materials with carbon capture as a key application driven by a rise in customer demand. SyncMOF is another example of a MOF manufacturer, which has partnered with the likes of Toho Gas and Aohata Co to develop and test MOF-based carbon capture solutions.
 
On a broader note, expanding the commercial production of MOFs for carbon capture has the potential to reduce manufacturing costs and could be instrumental in achieving more competitive market prices. This could help catalyze wider adoption and utilization of MOFs and serve as a springboard to propel the integration of MOFs into a range of other applications.
 
Outlook
 
The implementation of carbon capture technologies is pivotal for achieving net-zero emission targets. While amine solvent-based methods for CO2 capture are mature, their widespread adoption is hindered by high costs and energy-intensive solvent regeneration processes. Conversely, MOF-based solid sorbent systems are emerging as a promising alternative, offering significant reductions in energy consumption for sorbent regeneration, enhanced stability, selectivity for CO2, and lower initial costs.
 
 
Over the past five years, a notable shift has occurred, with several startups now focusing on MOF-based solutions for carbon capture. To fully realize the potential of these systems, it is essential to establish scalable production techniques for MOF materials. This requires forging strong partnerships among MOF producers, carbon capture technology developers, and industrial stakeholders to facilitate large-scale demonstrations. Overcoming the perceived risks associated with new technologies, when compared to established methods, is a challenge; however, demonstrating these technologies at scale is critical to dispelling doubts and encouraging broader adoption.
 
IDTechEx's report, "Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) 2024-2034: Market, Technology, and Players", offers an independent analysis of these trends and considers applications of MOFs for carbon capture, water harvesting, chemical purifications, and several other early-stage technologies, including hydrogen storage, energy storage, sensors, and more. Informed by insights gained from primary research, the report analyzes key players in the field and provides market forecasts in terms of yearly mass demand and market value segmented by application.
 
To find out more about this IDTechEx report, including downloadable sample pages, please see www.IDTechEx.com/MOFs.
 
For the full portfolio of advanced materials market research available from IDTechEx, please visit www.IDTechEx.com/Research/AM.
IDTechEx provides trusted independent research on emerging technologies and their markets. Since 1999, we have been helping our clients to understand new technologies, their supply chains, market requirements, opportunities and forecasts. For more information, contact research@IDTechEx.com or visit www.IDTechEx.com.
 

Authored By:

Technology Analyst

Posted on: July 3, 2024

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