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A review on zeolitic imidazolate frameworks use for crude oil spills cleanup

Mozhgan Shahmirzaee, Abdolhossein Hemmati-Sarapardeh, Maen M. Husein, Mahin Schaffie, Mohammad Ranjbar

(Published: 2019-09-06)

Corresponding Author and Email:Abdolhossein Hemmati-Sarapardeh,; ORCID:

Citation:Shahmirzaee, M., Hemmati-Sarapardeh, A., Husein, M.M., Schaffie, M., Ranjbar, M. A review on zeolitic imidazolate frameworks use for crude oil spills cleanup. Advances in Geo-Energy Research, 2019, 3(3): 320-342, doi: 10.26804/ager.2019.03.10.

Article Type:Invited review


Oil spills are a global concern by virtue of their distractive effects on the ecosystem. Many studies have examined the use of porous materials as sorbents for contaminants from different polluted waters. For example, hydrophobic metal organic frameworks, especially zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs) with high porosity, have attracted lots of attention. ZIFs are a subclass of metal organic frameworks and display an excellent performance toward oil/water separation compared with other porous materials. Nevertheless, the performance of ZIFs toward oil spills cleanup has not been reviewed. Accordingly, this article overviews the different methods for ZIF preparation, their corresponding structure, and their various applications as sorbents and in particular, recent developments in cleaning up oil spills with meso and micro-porous ZIFs. The investigation of the literatures revealed that the effective parameters on the performance of porous ZIFs are specific surface area, pore diameters of ZIF, and the size of cavities due to interconnecting of ZIF particles. The ZIF-8 with a high surface area of 1408 m2/g and 1384.2 m2/g and adsorption capacity up to 3000 mg/g was studied more than the other ZIF structures. Models predications revealed the maximum adsorption capacity of 6633 mg/g for ZIF-8. Recently, investigations focused on carbonitride foam and melamine sponge as templates of ZIF powder. In comparison with synthesis methods, dip coating as a facial synthesis method was introduced for production and anchoring ZIF particles on the substrate. The recyclability of crude oil and the reusability of the ZIF sorbents are highlighted. Moreover, this article reviews recent developments of ZIFs synthesis, current challenges, and prospects for the use of ZIFs in oil/water separation. The findings of this study can help to better understand widespread applications of ZIFs, effective features of a sorbent, and methods to improve adsorption capacity. As cleaning up oil spills is known as an important issue, this is the first study on ZIFs in particular oil/water separation which provides a summary of researches in a simple form along with recent developments compared to published reviews.

Keywords:Zeolitic imidazolate frameworks, metal organic frameworks, oil spill, separation, pollution, water treatment.


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