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Making amine-based CO2 adsorbents more stable

By Paul Grad |

Amine-containing solids have been investigated as promising adsorbents for CO2 capture, but existing amine-containing adsorbents degrade by oxidation, making them unreliable for repeated CO2 adsorption-desorption cycles over a long period. The low stability requires the continuous addition of fresh adsorbents, which significantly increases the cost of CO2 capture. Now researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST, Daejeon, South Korea; www.kaist.edu), led by professor Minkee Choi, have discovered that the very small amount of metal impurities — iron and copper — present in the amine accelerate the oxidative breakdown of the adsorbent. They propose the use of a chelator, which suppresses the activation of the impurities. Laboratory studies showed that the proposed method renders the adsorbent up to 50 times slower in its activation rate due to oxidation, compared with conventional polyethyleneimine (PEI)/silica adsorbents. The researchers developed an extra-stable adsorbent by combining two strategies. First, PEI was functionalized with 1,2-epoxybutane, which generates tethered 2-hydroxylbutyl groups. Secondly, chelators were pre-supported onto a silica support to deactivate the metal impurities…
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