Methane can be stored by metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). However, there remain challenges in the implementation of MOFs for adsorbed natural gas (ANG) systems. These challenges include thermal management, storage capacity losses due to MOF packing and densification, and natural gas impurities. In this review, we discuss discoveries about how MOFs can be designed to address these three challenges. For example, Fe(bdp) (bdp2− = 1,4-benzenedipyrazolate) was discovered to have intrinsic thermal management and released 41% less heat than HKUST-1 (HKUST = Hong Kong University of Science and Technology) during adsorption. Monolithic HKUST-1 was discovered to have a working capacity 259 cm3 (STP) cm−3 (STP = standard temperature and pressure equivalent volume of methane per volume of the adsorbent material: T = 273.15 K, P = 101.325 kPa), which is a 50% improvement over any other previously reported experimental value and virtually matches the 2012 Department of Energy (Department of Energy = DOE) target of 263 cm3 (STP) cm−3 after successful packing and densification. In the case of natural gas impurities, higher hydrocarbons and other molecules may poison or block active sites in MOFs, resulting in up to a 50% reduction of the deliverable energy. This reduction can be mitigated by pore engineering.
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