We reported a systematic approach aimed at identifying the optimal conditions for compaction of MOF-801, a small-pore zirconium-based metal–organic framework (MOF) containing fumaric acid as the linker, that can be easily synthesised in aqueous medium. Pellets of the MOF were prepared by compressing the powder either in neat form or dry-mixed with binders (sucrose, polyvinylalcohol, polyvinylbutyral) under a range of pressures and for different times. The mechanical stability and durability of the pellets was tested by simple drop tests and shake tests, finding that addition of 5% of polyvinylbutyral was enough to produce highly resilient pellets that did not release significant amounts of powder upon cracking. The crystallinity, textural properties and CO2
adsorption performance of the MOF were successively assessed, observing the least change of the original properties in pellets compressed at 146 MPa for 15 s. Compaction at higher pressures impacted the performance more heavily, with no evident benefit from the mechanical point of view, whereas compression time did not have a relevant effect. The cyclic adsorption behaviour was tested, showing that the pellets retained as much as 90% of the CO2
working capacity, while displaying unaffected sorption kinetics, and 74% of the H2
O working capacity.
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