As the United States and other countries work tirelessly to cut greenhouse gas emissions, one of their main objectives is to capture carbon dioxide from smokestacks. Now, Berkeley scientists have created a low-cost, simple, and energy-efficient method to accomplish that goal using inexpensive polymer melamine.
a flexible procedure with a wide range of uses
The method is so adaptable, according to the researchers, that it might even be scaled down to absorb carbon dioxide emissions from vehicle exhaust or other mobile sources. The new material is also easy to create and find, which is the best part.
“We wanted to consider a carbon capture material that came from sources that were extremely affordable and simple to obtain. So, we chose to begin with melamine,” said Jeffrey Reimer, a professor in the Graduate School of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and one of the paper’s corresponding authors.
The new melamine porous network uses far less expensive, simpler to manufacture, and more energy-efficient materials while being equally effective as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) at capturing carbon dioxide.
cheaper materials with greater effectiveness
Haiyan Mao, a postdoctoral scholar at UC Berkeley and the paper’s first author, stated, “In this study, we concentrated on cheaper material design for capture and storage and understanding the interaction mechanism between CO2 and the material.” “This work develops a generic industrialization approach toward porous networks-based sustainable CO2 capture. In the future, we plan to create an accessory for catching automotive exhaust gas, as well as perhaps an attachment for a structure or even a finish for the furniture.
Further investigation indicated that adding cyanuric acid to the novel material’s polymerization procedure significantly expanded the pore size and greatly enhanced CO2 capture efficiency: Using this method, subsequent testing revealed that virtually all of the carbon dioxide in a simulated flue gas combination was absorbed in under 3 minutes.
In the presence of this pore-opening cyanuric acid, Haiyan was able to cycle CO2 on and off numerous times with a capacity that was quite good, according to Reimer. “What Haiyan and her colleagues were able to show with these elegant techniques is exactly how these groups intermingle, exactly how CO2 reacts with them, and that she can do this in the presence of this pore-opening cyanuric acid.” “And compared to some other materials, the rate at which CO2 adsorbs is quite rapid. As a result, this material for CO2 capture has met all of its practical requirements at the laboratory size, and it’s also exceedingly simple and inexpensive to create.
“We thoroughly explored in unprecedented, atomic-level detail the mechanism of the reaction of the amorphous networks with CO2 using solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance techniques,” Mao added. This work “creates a high-performance, solid-state network family together with a thorough understanding of the mechanisms, but also encourages the evolution of porous materials research from trial-and-error methods to rational, step-by-step, atomic-level modulation,” according to the energy and environmental community.