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MOFs Entering the Defense Sector

MOFs are poised to make major transformations to a number of industries, including the defense sector. One of the key barriers to their broader adoption has been the challenge of scaling up. NuMat is excited to be partnering with the U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command Chemical and Biological Center (RDECOM C&B Center) to tackle this challenge, as they report in a new write-up:

New funding will allow the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (RDECOM ECBC) to significantly scale up the production of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), a promising substance with the potential to support a range of new products dealing with decontamination and filtration. MOFs, which have proven to be highly effective filtration materials and decontaminants, are being incorporated into a range of technologies. Because of their ability to react with and decontaminate toxic substances and chemical warfare agents, they are being considered for use in self-decontaminating suits and filter masks, among other capabilities. … “The Army ManTech Program facilitates that maturation and acceleration of advanced manufacturing processes,” said RDECOM CB supervisory engineer Kevin Wallace, who represents ECBC to the Army ManTech Office. “Currently, MOFs are produced in small volumes at a high cost. One of the main objectives is to help industry get to higher volumes and significantly drive down costs. When we accomplish that, it becomes a cost-effective enabler for filtration technologies.” Once production is scaled up, Peterson envisions being able to simultaneously incorporate MOFs into different capabilities, putting most of the initial focus on filters.

One of the most exciting aspects of this work for us is the technology’s dual-use capabilities, as we reported in our recent press release:

The same filtration technology that will protect the warfighter in the field can be leveraged to provide superior filtration technology across industries. The microelectronics, life sciences, and industrial sectors, for example, all require cutting-edge purification and abatement technology for many of the same gases and chemicals in the defense sector.

By entering the defense market, MOFS will both be providing new protection for the modern warfighter while expanding the possibilities for materials science and technology and advanced manufacturing.

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