Amine-Tethered Solid Adsorbents Coupling High Adsorption Capacity and Regenerability for CO2 Capture From Ambient Air



Silica supported poly(ethyleneimine) (PEI) materials are prepared via impregnation and demonstrated to be promising adsorbents for CO2 capture from ultra-dilute gas streams such as ambient air. A prototypical class 1 adsorbent, containing 45 wt % PEI (PEI/silica), and two new modified PEI-based aminosilica adsorbents, derived from PEI modified with 3-aminopropyltrimethoxysilane (A-PEI/silica) or tetraethyl orthotitanate (T-PEI/silica), are prepared and characterized by using thermogravimetric analysis and FTIR spectroscopy. The modifiers are shown to enhance the thermal stability of the polymer-oxide composites, leading to higher PEI decomposition temperatures. The modified adsorbents present extremely high CO2 adsorption capacities under conditions simulating ambient air (400 ppm CO2 in inert gas), exceeding 2 molmath image kgsorbent−1, as well as enhanced adsorption kinetics compared to conventional class 1 sorbents. The new adsorbents show excellent stability in cyclic adsorption–desorption operations, even under dry conditions in which aminosilica adsorbents are known to lose capacity due to urea formation. Thus, the adsorbents of this type can be considered promising materials for the direct capture of CO2 from ultra-dilute gas streams such as ambient air.