Aminosilanes grafted to basic alumina as CO2 adsorbents—role of grafting conditions on CO2 adsorption properties

Sumit Bali, Johannes Leisen, Guo Shiou Foo, Carsten Sievers, Christopher W Jones
ChemSusChem 2014, 7 (11): 3145-56
Solid oxide-supported amine sorbents for CO2 capture are amongst the most rapidly developing classes of sorbent materials for CO2 capture. Herein, basic γ supports are used as hosts for amine sites through the grafting of 3-aminopropyltrimethoxysilane to the alumina surface under a variety of conditions, yielding the expected surface-grafted alkylamine groups, as demonstrated by FTIR spectroscopy and (29)Si and (13)C cross-polarization magic-angle spinning (CPMAS NMR) spectroscopy. Grafting amine sites on the surface in the presence of water leads to a high density of amine sites on the surface whereas simultaneously creating a unique type of aluminum species on the surface, as demonstrated by both 1D and 2D (27)Al MAS NMR spectroscopy. The thus prepared sorbents result in higher CO2 adsorption capacities and amine efficiencies compared to sorbents prepared in the absence of water or similar amine loading sorbents prepared using silica supports. In situ FTIR spectra of the sorbents exposed to CO2 at various pressures show no distinct difference in the nature of the adsorbed CO2 species on alumina- versus silica-supported amines, whereas water adsorption isotherms show that the improved performance of the amine-grafted alumina support is not a consequence of retained water on the more hydrophobic aminoalumina materials. The findings demonstrate that amine-grafted, basic alumina materials can be tuned to be more efficient than the corresponding silica-supported materials at comparable amine loadings, further demonstrating that the properties of amine sites can be tuned by controlling or adjusting the support surface properties.

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