Application of amine-tethered solid sorbents for direct CO2 capture from the ambient air

Sunho Choi, Jeffrey H Drese, Peter M Eisenberger, Christopher W Jones
Environmental Science & Technology 2011 March 15, 45 (6): 2420-7
While current carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies for large point sources can help address the impact of CO(2) buildup on global climate change, these technologies can at best slow the rate of increase of the atmospheric CO(2) concentration. In contrast, the direct CO(2) capture from ambient air offers the potential to be a truly carbon negative technology. We propose here that amine-based solid adsorbents have significant promise as key components of a hypothetical air capture process. Specifically, the CO(2) capture characteristics of hyperbranched aminosilica (HAS) materials are evaluated here using CO(2) mixtures that simulate ambient atmospheric concentrations (400 ppm CO(2) = "air capture") as well as more traditional conditions simulating flue gas (10% CO(2)). The air capture experiments demonstrate that the adsorption capacity of HAS adsorbents are only marginally influenced even with a significant dilution of the CO(2) concentration by a factor of 250, while capturing CO(2) reversibly without significant degradation of performance in multicyclic operation. These results suggest that solid amine-based air capture processes have the potential to be an effective approach to extracting CO(2) from the ambient air.

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