Bifunctional Polymer Foam with Superb CO2 Capture Capability
The most challenging issue of the 21st century is how to curb our reliance on fossil fuels and decarbonize our economy, as fossil fuels still dominate global energy production, leading to a sharp increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. However, until this puzzle is solved, technologies for CO2 capture are needed. Among the technologies, adsorption processes that use porous materials as adsorbents are promising because they allow fine-tuning of the thermodynamics of the interaction between CO2 and the adsorbent surface.
Researchers at the National Institute of Chemistry Slovenia and the Centre for Education and Research on Macromolecules (CERM) at the University of Liège have designed a new one-pot synthesis approach and developed highly-porous polymer foams that are used as CO2 capture materials. The resulting bifunctional imidazolium/amine polymer foams, which contain tunable ratios of these functional groups within the macromolecular network, exhibit unique textural and structural properties, resulting in rapid CO2 sorption kinetics and excellent ability to selectively capture CO2 from the gas mixture. Thus, the exceptional CO2 capture performance of the bifunctional foams was attributed to the combination of a highly porous structure and the synergy between the imidazolium and amine functional groups. The disclosed features of these polymer foams will be a great incentive for further development of new organic CO2 sorbents.
The results were published in Chemical Engineering Journal as a research article entitled 'Bifunctional Imidazolium/Amine Polymer Foams: Synthesis and Synergistic Promotion of CO2 Sorption'.