Highly stable CO2/N2 and CO2/CH4 selectivity in hyper-cross-linked heterocyclic porous polymers

Muhammad Saleh, Han Myoung Lee, K Christian Kemp, Kwang S Kim
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2014 May 28, 6 (10): 7325-33
The largest obstacles for landfill/flue gas separation using microporous materials are small adsorption values and low selectivity ratios. This study demonstrates that these adsorption and selectivity challenges can be overcome by utilizing a series of hyper-cross-linked heterocyclic polymer networks. These microporous organic polymers (MOPs) were synthesized in a single step by inexpensive Friedel-Crafts-catalyzed reactions using dimethoxymethane as an external linker. The amorphous networks show moderate Brunauer-Emmett-Teller surface areas up to 1022 m(2) g(-1), a narrow pore size distribution in the range from 6 to 8 Å, and high physicochemical stability. Owing to the presence of the heteroatomic pore surfaces in the networks, they exhibit maximum storage capacities for CO2 of 11.4 wt % at 273 K and 1 atm. Additionally, remarkable selectivity ratios for CO2 adsorption over N2 (100) and CH4 (15) at 273 K were obtained. More importantly, as compared with any other porous materials, much higher selectivity for CO2/N2 (80) and CO2/CH4 (15) was observed at 298 K, showing that these selectivity ratios remain high at elevated temperature. The very high CO2/N2 selectivity values are ascribed to the binding affinity of abundantly available electron-rich basic heteroatoms, high CO2 isoteric heats of adsorption (49-38 kJ mol(-1)), and the predominantly microporous nature of the MOPs. Binding energies calculated using the high level of ab initio theory showed that the selectivity is indeed attributed to the heteroatom-CO2 interactions. By employing an easy and economical synthesis procedure these MOPs with high thermochemical stability are believed to be a promising candidate for selective CO2 capture.

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