Oxidative CH Activation of Non-Activated Alkanes Using Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) as Catalysts

Tech ID: 25269 / UC Case 2010-969-0


UCLA researchers in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have developed two novel organic framework-based catalysts used in CH activation during the process of converting methane into acetic acid. These catalysts demonstrate high efficiency and specificity, combined with the great chemical stability and reproducibility seen with organic framework materials.


Methane is a great source of cost and environmental-friendly carbon-fuel. The conversion of methane into useful molecules, such as acetic acid, has been a long standing challenge due to the strong C-H bond of methane. Current catalysts being used for C-H activation in the conversion of methane directly to acetic acid include Rh or Ir compounds. Utilizing such catalysts require high capital and is energy intensive. Furthermore, such catalysts are low in efficiency and selectivity. Novel catalysts that can enhance the production of acetic acid from methane will greatly benefit the chemical processing industry.


Dr. Omar Yaghi and colleagues at UCLA have developed two Vanadium-containing metal organic frameworks that can serve as a catalyst in the synthesis of acetic acid from methane. These catalysts give up to 70% yield and 100% selectivity. This is the first non-precious metal containing catalyst for such reactions.


• Catalyzing chemical reactions to generate acetic acid and alcohols


• Applicable for large scale chemical processes
• MOF catalysts are easily produced and can be recycled
• Catalysts have high chemical and temperature stability

State Of Development

The Vanadium-containing MOF has been successfully generated and tested for oxidative CH-activation in the process of yielding acetic acid from methane.

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 9102609 08/11/2015 2010-969


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  • Yaghi, Omar M.

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