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Developing hierarchically ultra-micro/mesoporous biocarbons for highly selective carbon dioxide adsorption

Liu, Xin; Sun, Chenggong; Liu, Hao; Herng Tan, Wei; Wang, Wenlong; Snape, Colin

Developing hierarchically ultra-micro/mesoporous biocarbons for highly selective carbon dioxide adsorption Thumbnail


Xin Liu

Chenggong Sun

Professor of Energy Engineering

Wei Herng Tan

Wenlong Wang

Professor of Chemical Technology & Chemical Eng


Activated carbons represent one of the important categories of the adsorbent materials for CO2 capture currently under development. However, the low adsorption capacity and selectivity at low CO2 partial pressure or relatively high flue gas temperatures is the main barrier for carbons to be applied in post-combustion CO2 capture under practical conditions. Here, we report the successful preparation of hierarchical ultra-micro/mesoporous bio-carbons from using a facile one-step method with a low-grade biomass waste as the feedstock. The bio-carbons exhibit high adsorption capacities (1.90 mmol/g) and record-high Henry’s law CO2/N2 selectivities up to 212 at ambient temperature and low CO2 partial pressure. Unlike conventional chemical activation process for manufacturing carbon materials, the integrated compaction-carbonization-activation method proposed endows the biowaste-derived carbons with unique hierarchical bio-modal pore structures, which is highly characterised by their high mesoporosity and high ultra-microporosity with narrow pore size distributions. The results demonstrated that the unique surface textural properties along with the enhanced surface chemistry due to the simultaneously achieved potassium intercalation created favourable conditions for CO2 adsorption with high CO2/N2 selectivity at low CO2 partial pressures, whilst the presence of mesoporosity greatly increased the CO2 adsorption kinetics. Measurements of CO2 adsorption heat confirmed the strong surface affinity of the prepared bio-carbons to CO2 molecules.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 8, 2018
Online Publication Date Nov 13, 2018
Publication Date Apr 1, 2019
Deposit Date Nov 29, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jan 4, 2019
Journal Chemical Engineering Journal
Print ISSN 1385-8947
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 361
Pages 199-208
Keywords CO2 capture; carbon materials; biomass; surface chemistry; ultra-micro/mesoporous structure
Public URL
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