Jet-Mixing Reactor for ZIF Nanomaterial Synthesis Using Stoichiometric Amounts of Reactants

A method for the continuous and high yield synthesis of ZIF nanomaterials (<100 nm) using stoichiometric amounts of reactants with a jet-mix reactor.

The Need

A zeolitic imidazolate framework (ZIF) is a type of metal-organic framework (MOF) that can be used as a catalyst in membranes and for gas adsorption applications. These porous structures can be exposed to high temperatures and can remain stable after boiling in water or solvents, which makes them well suited for hostile environments, such as power plants. However, commercially produced ZIFs have large diameters of approximately 4 μm, which reduces their effectiveness in membrane and adsorption applications. To increase the effectiveness of ZIF materials, a continuous method to synthesize smaller ZIF particles at a high yield must be developed.

The Technology

Inventors at The Ohio State University, led by Dr. Nicholas Brunelli, have developed a jet-mixing reactor for high-yield, continuous synthesis of ZIF-8 nanomaterials at 100 nm particle size. The reactor consists of a main line that has an inlet and outlet port with two jet-mixing inlets directed radially inward. The flow through the mixing jets combines with the main line in the center of the device. These flow rates can be adjusted to control molar ratio of ligand: metal: base used in the reaction mixture. The inventors were able to achieve 84% yield using a jet-mixing reactor and stoichiometric quantities of ligand and metal.

Commercial Applications

The jet-mixing reactor synthesizes ZIF nanomaterials that can be used for:

  • Transesterfication of vegetable oils to produce biofuels
  • Matrices for biological and electrochemical sensors
  • Drug delivery and slow drug release


  • Ability to control mixing of ligand and metal
  • Rapid reaction times
  • Ease of scale up
  • Continuous production of ZIF particles smaller than 100 nm

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