JOURNAL ARTICLE

Asphalt-derived high surface area activated porous carbons for carbon dioxide capture

Almaz S Jalilov, Gedeng Ruan, Chih-Chau Hwang, Desmond E Schipper, Josiah J Tour, Yilun Li, Huilong Fei, Errol L G Samuel, James M Tour
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2015 January 21, 7 (2): 1376-82
25531980
Research activity toward the development of new sorbents for carbon dioxide (CO2) capture have been increasing quickly. Despite the variety of existing materials with high surface areas and high CO2 uptake performances, the cost of the materials remains a dominant factor in slowing their industrial applications. Here we report preparation and CO2 uptake performance of microporous carbon materials synthesized from asphalt, a very inexpensive carbon source. Carbonization of asphalt with potassium hydroxide (KOH) at high temperatures (>600 °C) yields porous carbon materials (A-PC) with high surface areas of up to 2780 m(2) g(-1) and high CO2 uptake performance of 21 mmol g(-1) or 93 wt % at 30 bar and 25 °C. Furthermore, nitrogen doping and reduction with hydrogen yields active N-doped materials (A-NPC and A-rNPC) containing up to 9.3% nitrogen, making them nucleophilic porous carbons with further increase in the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface areas up to 2860 m(2) g(-1) for A-NPC and CO2 uptake to 26 mmol g(-1) or 114 wt % at 30 bar and 25 °C for A-rNPC. This is the highest reported CO2 uptake among the family of the activated porous carbonaceous materials. Thus, the porous carbon materials from asphalt have excellent properties for reversibly capturing CO2 at the well-head during the extraction of natural gas, a naturally occurring high pressure source of CO2. Through a pressure swing sorption process, when the asphalt-derived material is returned to 1 bar, the CO2 is released, thereby rendering a reversible capture medium that is highly efficient yet very inexpensive.

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