UNIST develops palladium catalyst recycling technology that is more expensive than gold

The Ulsan Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) announced on April 22nd that it has developed a synthetic technology that can recycle catalyst materials that are more expensive than gold. It is expected to be a technology that can reduce process costs and reduce the consumption of limited precious metal mineral resources as it can use expensive materials multiple times.


The joint research team of Professors Na Myung-soo and Baek Seung-bin of the Department of Chemistry at UNIST and Professor Min-Min Kim of the Department of Chemistry at Chungbuk National University developed a synthetic technology that transforms the metal-organic skeleton (MOF). It is a technology that intentionally breaks the skeleton structure and inserts new metal ions.


According to the research team, this synthetic technology can make recyclable catalysts, etc., by inserting palladium or cobalt metal into MOF. The synthesized palladium catalyst maintained a similar performance even after being reused more than 5 times.


Palladium is a catalyst material that is essential for the synthesis of high value-added compounds such as pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. As the demand for exhaust gas reduction catalysts for vehicles has increased, the price has skyrocketed to 1.5 times the gold price in recent years. The MOF the researchers modified is MOF-74.


MOF is a material that forms a porous structure by combining metals and organic substances. Due to a large number of pores, it is attracting attention as a catalyst support or gas storage material. MOF-74 has the advantage of being easy to synthesize and very stable among MOFs, but it was considered that modification by inserting platinum or palladium, which is a catalyst metal is almost impossible.


The research team solved this limitation by artificially creating a defect structure in which chemical bonds between metal and organic molecules are broken and then attaching an amine functional group (-NH2) to the cleavage site.


Prof. Myung-Soo Na said, it is of great academic significance that the functional groups in the MOF are added as desired and additional functions are given as a new approach to induce defects in the structure. It will be valuable as a new catalyst manufacturing technology that can be reduced to


This research was selected as the front cover of Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., an authoritative academic journal in the field of chemistry, and was released online on April 19. This research was supported by the Leading Research Center (SRC) and the Creative Challenge Research Foundation Support Project hosted by the National Research Foundation of Korea.

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