Air Oxidation of Sulfur Mustard Gas Simulant Using a Pyrene-Based Metal-Organic Framework Photocatalyst

We demonstrate a microporous metal-organic framework NU-400 based on a 2,7-disubstituted pyrene linker as a highly efficient photosensitizer for generating singlet oxygen and subsequent oxidative degradation of chemical warfare agents (CWAs). The high activity of NU-400 permits photocatalytic conversion of the 2-chloroethyl ethyl sulfide (CEES) mustard gas simulant into a benign sulfoxide derivative, in air, with less than 15 minutes half-life. This is a considerable improvement to NU-1000 based on a 1,3,6,8-tetrasubstituted pyrene unit, demonstrating how variation of the substitution pattern of a metal-organic framework linker permits modification of its photoactive behavior.