University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
College of Science and Engineering > Department of Chemistry > Nanoporous Materials Genome Center


The Nanoporous Materials Genome Center (NMGC) discovers and explores microporous and mesoporous materials, including metalorganic frameworks (MOFs), zeolites, and porous polymer networks (PPNs). These materials find use as separation media and catalysts in many energy-relevant processes and their nextgeneration computational design offers a high-payoff opportunity. Towards that end, the NMGC develops state-of-the-art predictive modeling tools and employs them to increase the pace of materials discovery. The NMGC provides a repository of experimental and predicted structures and associated properties for the rapidly growing scientific communities that are interested in using these materials in energy-relevant technologies.


Transformation of Ethane to Ethanol

April 30, 2015 Alkanes are a major component of natural gas, and their conversion into functionalized chemicals is a challenging task. Enzymes that support high-valent iron(IV)–oxo intermediates are known to activate the strong C–H bond present in alkanes, converting them into more useful chemicals, but duplicating this reactivity in synthetic materials is difficult. A collaborative work between the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and the University of California, Berkeley has shown that a synthetic metal-organic framework (MOF) presents similar reactivity. Read full details of the study.


New Material May Aid in Destruction of Chemical Weapons

March 17, 2015 A team of researchers from Northwestern University and the University of Minnesota, working together as part of the NMGC, have made a significant breakthrough with a new material that is robust and effective at destroying toxic nerve agents, as recently reported in Nature Materials.


New Adsorbents May Mitigate Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere

March 11, 2015 Researchers in the University of Minnesota-based Nanoporous Materials Genome Center (NMGC) have made some breakthroughs in their investigation into more efficient gas separation technologies such as those based on advanced solid adsorbents. A joint study between the University of Minnesota and University of California, Berkeley, has shown that diamine-appended metal-organic frameworks can behave as phase-change adsorbents, with unusual step-shaped carbon dioxide adsorption isotherms that shift markedly with temperature. This study has been featured in Nature.


Researchers Identify Materials to Improve Biofuel and Petroleum Processing


January 26, 2015 Using one of the largest supercomputers in the world, a team of researchers led by the University of Minnesota and Rice University has identified potential materials that could improve the production of ethanol and petroleum products. The discovery could lead to major efficiencies and cost savings in these industries. The University of Minnesota has two patents pending on the research and hopes to license these technologies. The study was published in the research journal Nature Communications. Read more or go to article.

April 24, 2015 See related article, ALCF Supercomputer Helps Identify Materials to Improve Fuel Production.

Pictured left: Peng Bai, Graduate Student and first author


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This research is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Chemical Sciences, Geosciences and Biosciences under Award DE-FG02-12ER16362.



Upcoming Meetings & Seminars

Group Meetings
June 5, 2015 | 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. | Smith Hall 117/119
June 19, 2015 | 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. | Smith Hall 117/119
July 3, 2015 | 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. | Smith Hall 117/119
July 17, 2015 | 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. | Smith Hall 117/119
August 7, 2015 | 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. | Smith Hall 117/119
August 21, 2015 | 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. | Smith Hall 117/119

All-Hands Meeting
October 2nd & 3rd, 2015. More details coming soon.

Upcoming Seminars
No Special Seminars currently scheduled. Please check back in Fall Semester.

Past Meetings | Past Seminars & Webinars

Recent News & Events

U of MN Professor Michael Tsapatsis Elected to National Academy of Engineering

  February 6, 2015 Professor Michael Tsapatsis has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Tsapatsis received the honor for design and synthesis of specialized nanomaterials, called zeolites, that are used for selective separation and reaction. His research group’s accomplishments include development of unique molecular sieves and membranes that are used to increase efficiencies in the chemical and petroleum processing industries. Read more.


Chemists Turn Key to New Energy Future

Pictured above: Laura Gagliardi and Don Truhlar

  June 27, 2014 Chemists turn key to new energy future. U chemists explain new reaction, demonstrating how quantum mechanics can help design more energy-efficient catalysts.U chemistry professors Laura Gagliardi and Don Truhlar, along with U graduate students and colleagues at UC Berkeley, took up this challenge by starting with the simpler but closely related problem of how to convert ethane—a two-carbon molecule—into ethanol at room temperature and pressure. In short, Berkeley built a catalyst and the U researchers used advanced computations to explain how it worked. Read more

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