Description: The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has developed sorbents for the removal of toxic industrial gases such as ammonia and phosgene. The materials offer reactive and/or catalytic sites within a high surface area, hierarchical pore structure. The reactive/catalytic nature of the materials offers extended lifetimes to typical purification applications. The hierarchical nature of the materials reduces the diffusion limitations often experienced in high surface area sorbents. Catalytic activity can be stimulated through application of an electric current or illumination by visible spectrum light. Catalysis under a range of conditions including varied temperature and humidity has been demonstrated. Target selectivity can be controlled through selection of reactive components. Materials with catalytic activity against phosgene have been demonstrated. Removal of ammonia at 4.9 mol/kg has also been described. Incorporation of an optically active moiety offers the potential for self-reporting materials. Attachment of these types of materials to fabrics and surfaces has been demonstrated.

Advantages/Features Include:

  • Reactive and/or catalytic nature extends functional lifetime and removal capacity
  • Hierarchical morphology reduces diffusion limitations
  • High surface area, ~1,000 m2/g
  • Tunable selectivity
  • Multiple possible material formats
  • Resistance to temperatures of up to 150°C

Applications Include:

  • Catalytic air filters
  • Chemical protective masks
  • Self-decontaminating hardware
  • Catalytic membranes

Licensing Status: Licensing and collaborative research and development is available to companies with commercial interest.

Lead Inventor: Brandy White


Journal Articles:

  • "Sunlight Catalyzed Conversion of Cyclic Organics with Novel Mesoporous Organosilicas," Catalysis Communications, 8, 1052-6 (2007).
  • "Functional and Functionalized Silicate Materials," Proceedings 2010 MRS Fall Meeting Symposium BB, MRS Online Proceedings Library, 1306-BB02-07 (November 2010).

To learn more, see our press release.

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