Thermoresponsive Amphoteric Metal-Organic Frameworks for Efficient and Reversible Adsorption of Multiple Salts from Water

Ranwen Ou, Huacheng Zhang, Jing Wei, Seungju Kim, Li Wan, Nhi Sa Nguyen, Yaoxin Hu, Xiwang Zhang, George P. Simon, Huanting Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Regenerable, high-efficiency salt sorption materials are highly desirable for water treatment. Here, a thermoresponsive, amphoteric metal-organic framework (MOF) material is reported that can adsorb multiple salts from saline water at room temperature and effectively release the adsorbed salts into water at elevated temperature (e.g., 80 °C). The amphoteric MOF, integrated with both cation-binding carboxylic groups and anion-binding tertiary amine groups, is synthesized by introducing a polymer with tertiary amine groups into the cavities of a water-stable MOF such as MIL-121 with carboxylic groups inside its frameworks. The amphoterized MIL-121 exhibits excellent salt adsorption properties, showing stable adsorption-desorption cycling performances and high LiCl, NaCl, MgCl2, and CaCl2 adsorption capacities of 0.56, 0.92, 0.25, and 0.39 mmol g-1, respectively. This work provides a novel, effective strategy for synthesizing new-generation, environmental-friendly, and responsive salt adsorption materials for efficient water desalination and purification.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1802767
Number of pages8
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number34
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2018


  • Amphoteric
  • Desalination
  • Metal-organic frameworks
  • Regenerable salt adsorbents
  • Thermoresponsive

Cite this