Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs): MOFing Towards a Sustainable Future
In April 2023 the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, revealed that the forthcoming budget will feature a £20 billion  ($24 billion) investment scheme for carbon capture initiatives. This represents the single largest ever investment in these technologies anywhere in the world outside of the United States aimed at catalysing new solutions to contribute to a $4 trillion market by 2050 . Underpinning this unprecedented move, is the acknowledgement of how important it is to develop technologies that capture carbon in the global movement towards net-zero.
Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) stand as a remarkable class of materials, playing a pivotal role in combating climate change, with a special focus on carbon capture. Comprising metal ions or clusters interconnected by organic molecules, MOFs exhibit a porous structure, endowing them with extraordinary traits like an immensely high surface area and customisable pore size. These attributes render MOFs exceptionally well-suited for various applications, but particularly for capturing carbon cheaply, at scale.
Immaterial, a spin-out from the University of Cambridge, stands at the forefront of MOF development, offering a cutting-edge discovery platform and a scalable manufacturing process. Their primary mission is to revolutionise gas separation and purification by harnessing the potential of MOFs. With innovative technology and a formidable team of experts, the company has set its sights on the crucial carbon capture and hydrogen storage markets. Aligned with broader national and global objectives, their efforts are driving towards a carbon-neutral future, making them a key player in shaping sustainable solutions.
One particular standout accomplishment is the development of the company’s discovery platform, which has proven remarkably effective in swiftly discovering monolithic MOFs (m-MOFs) with diverse applications like flue gas carbon capture, direct air capture (DAC), and hydrogen storage. Immaterial is confident it can attain exceptional metrics from their technology for the cost of carbon capture, and will look to set the lowest price in the industry. At such a low price point, Immaterial will boast an exceptionally cost-effective point source carbon capture technology that stands out on a global scale and is set to make capturing carbon a much more viable solution for adoption.
With the recent closure of the Series A funding round, Immaterial has embarked on several pivotal milestones to drive progress towards their low-cost carbon capture solution. Their immediate focus is on delivering m-MOF demonstration units of their manufacturing plant and process system, in collaboration with development partners. By doing so, Immaterial will de-risk the manufacturing process, system and timeline for commercialisation purposes. Immaterial’s success in achieving its milestones will enable it to optimise its manufacturing process for cost and scale.
Immaterial stands at the precipice of revolutionising carbon capture, positioning themselves as a dominant force within the industry. ERV is thrilled to be part of this journey and play a significant role in supporting Immaterial rollout their technology, reducing emissions through their carbon capture technology and driving towards a sustainable future .