Forty per cent of the energy consumed by industry is used to separate things— in natural gas production, mineral processing, food production, pollution control. The list goes on.
Each offers an application for Matthew Hill’s crystals. He has demonstrated that the space inside metalorganic frameworks (MOFs)—the world’s most porous materials—can be used as efficient and long-lasting filters.
By choosing different combinations of metals and plastics, Matthew’s CSIRO team can make a wide range of customised crystals. Then, using antimatter and synchrotron light, they map the internal pores, determine what each crystal can do and explore potential applications.