Guest speaker: Prof. Ashlee Howarth, Concordia University

Ashlee J. Howarth was born and raised in London, Ontario. She obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Western Ontario in 2009, and then went on to do her PhD in inorganic materials chemistry at the University of British Columbia under the supervision of Michael O. Wolf. Before joining the faculty at Concordia, she completed an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship at Northwestern University with Joseph T. Hupp and Omar K. Farha. In 2017, Ashlee was recognized by Forbes Magazine as a “30 under 30” in Science. Research in the Howarth group is focused on the design and synthesis of metal–organic frameworks targeting applications in wastewater remediation and chemical sensing.

Metal-Organic Frameworks for Adsorption and Detoxification of Hazardous Analytes

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Concordia University, 7141 Sherbrooke St W. Montreal, QC, H4B 1R6

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are structurally diverse, porous materials comprised of metal nodes bridged by organic linkers. Through careful choice of nodes and linkers, the chemical and physical properties of MOFs can be elegantly tuned and materials with very high surface area and porosity can be obtained. As a consequence, MOFs have been explored for many potential applications including, but not limited to, gas storage and release, chemical separations, catalysis, drug delivery, light harvesting and energy conversion and the remediation of contaminated water. MOFs offer an interesting platform for use as adsorbents, as well as catalysts for contaminant detoxification, particularly since the advent of MOFs that are highly stable in aqueous solutions and under varying pH conditions. In this presentation, Zr-based MOFs are explored as platform materials for the adsorption, removal and detoxification of various harmful analytes.