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Issue 15, 2014
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Nitrogen-enriched and hierarchically porous carbon macro-spheres – ideal for large-scale CO2 capture

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Abstract

A facile and efficient “spheridization” method is developed to produce nitrogen-enriched hierarchically porous carbon spheres of millimeters in diameter, with intricate micro-, meso- and macro-structural features. Such spheres not only show exceptional working capacity for CO2 sorption, but also satisfy practical requirements for dynamic flow in post-combustion CO2 capture. Those were achieved using co-polymerized acrylonitrile and acrylamide as the N-enriched carbon precursor, a solvent-exchange process to create hierarchically porous macro-sphere preforms, oxidization to induce cyclization of the polymer chains, and carbonization with concurrent chemical activation by KOH. The resulting carbon spheres show a relatively high CO2 uptake of 16.7 wt% under 1 bar of CO2 and, particularly, an exceptional uptake of 9.3 wt% under a CO2 partial pressure of 0.15 bar at 25 °C. Subsequent structural and chemical analyses suggest that the outstanding properties are due to highly developed microporous structures and the relatively high pyridinic nitrogen content inherited from the co-polymer precursor, incorporated within the hierarchical porous structures.

Graphical abstract: Nitrogen-enriched and hierarchically porous carbon macro-spheres – ideal for large-scale CO2 capture

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
24 Jan 2014
Accepted
25 Feb 2014
First published
26 Feb 2014

This article is Open Access

J. Mater. Chem. A, 2014,2, 5481-5489
Article type
Paper
Author version available

Nitrogen-enriched and hierarchically porous carbon macro-spheres – ideal for large-scale CO2 capture

B. Zhu, K. Li, J. Liu, H. Liu, C. Sun, C. E. Snape and Z. Guo, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2014, 2, 5481 DOI: 10.1039/C4TA00438H

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