Development of a High-Accuracy Statistical Model to Identify the Key Parameter for Methane Adsorption in Metal-Organic Frameworks

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The geometrical and topological features of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) play an important role in determining their ability to capture and store methane (CH4). Methane is a greenhouse gas that has been shown to be more dangerous in terms of contributing to global warming than carbon dioxide (CO2), especially in the first 20 years of its release into the atmosphere. Its accelerated emission increases the rate of global temperature increase and needs to be addressed immediately. Adsorption processes have been shown to be effective and efficient in mitigating methane emissions from the atmosphere by providing an enormous surface area for methane storage. Among all the adsorbents, MOFs were shown to be the best adsorbents for methane adsorption due to their higher favorable steric interactions, the presence of binding sites such as open metal sites, and hydrophobic pockets. These features may not necessarily be present in carbonaceous materials and zeolites. Although many studies have suggested that the main reason for the increased storage efficiencies in terms of methane in the MOFs is the high surface area, there was some evidence in certain research works that methane storage performance, as measured by uptakes and deliveries in gravimetric and volumetric units, was higher for certain MOFs with a lower surface area. This prompted us to find out the most significant property of the MOF, whether it be material-based or pore-based, that has the maximum influence on methane uptake and delivery, using a comprehensive statistical approach that has not previously been employed in the methane storage literature. The approach in our study employed various chemometric techniques, including simple and multiple linear regression (SLR and MLR), combined with different types of multicollinearity diagnostics, partial correlations, standardized coefficients, and changes in regression coefficient estimates and their standard errors, applied to both the SLR and MLR models. The main advantages of this statistical approach are that it is quicker, provides a deeper insight into experimental data, and highlights a single, most important, parameter for MOF design and tuning that can predict and maximize the output storage and capture performance. The significance of our approach is that it was modeled purely based on experimental data, which will capture the real system, as opposed to the molecular simulations employed previously in the literature. Our model included data from ~80 MOFs and eight properties related to the material, pore, and thermodynamics (isosteric adsorption energy). Successful attempts to model the methane sorption process have previously been conducted using thermodynamic approaches and by developing adsorption performance indicators, but these are either too complex or time-consuming and their data covers fewer than 10 MOFs and a maximum of three MOF properties. By comparing the statistical metrics between the models, the most important and statistically significant property of the MOF was determined, which will be crucial when designing MOFs for use in storing and delivering methane.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-370
Number of pages36
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • isosteric adsorption energy
  • largest cavity diameter
  • linear and non-linear correlations
  • linear regression
  • material density
  • metal-organic frameworks
  • methane uptake and delivery
  • multicollinearity diagnostics
  • partial correlations
  • pore surface area
  • relative importance of explanatory variables
  • standardized regression coefficient estimates
  • variance proportions and distributions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)


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