Progress and potential of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) as novel desiccants for built environment control: A review

Kan Zu, Menghao Qin*, Shuqing Cui

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    The regulation of the balance of the sensible and latent loads remains a critical problem for built environment
    control. Unlike the traditional vapor compression system that features high-energy consumption and
    environmental-unfriendly processes, desiccants represent an alternative air-conditioning method that takes
    advantage of the low-grade energy, decreases the energy consumption and even employs use of water vapor.
    Though the desiccant-based systems can achieve spatial moisture transfer through the periodic adsorption/
    desorption process, however, the water-stable desiccants with high water uptake and mildly reversible adsorption are required, and the traditional desiccants cannot meet these requirements. In this respect, metal-organic
    frameworks (MOFs), possessing a variety of structures and precise functional ability to optimize their properties,
    are promising porous materials exhibiting high potential for rational design and sorption-based applications. In
    this review, intrinsic properties and prevalent water adsorption mechanisms of the potential micro/mesoporous
    MOF desiccants have been elucidated. Subsequently, the selection criteria of the promising MOF desiccants for
    water loading removal from air in the built environment is proposed and some currently available water-stable MOFs based on different working humidity ranges have been analyzed for the potential humidity control from the aspects of microstructure, isotherms and regeneration conditions. Finally, approaches for screening the wellsuited MOFs from material and system levels is presented. Overall, the cases of actual applications in the active or passive way have confirmed that MOF-based systems can effectively regulate the humidity load within the desirable range, thus, underlining the high potential of large-scale applications in the near future.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number110246
    JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
    Number of pages19
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


    • MOFs
    • Intrinsic properties
    • Adsorption mechanism
    • Screening
    • Active/passive-type
    • Solid desiccant system


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