Energy efficient synthesis of highly ordered mesoporous carbon nitrides with uniform rods and their superior CO2 adsorption capacity†
An energy efficient route for the synthesis of mesoporous carbon nitride (MCN) materials with highly ordered mesopores and a rod shaped morphology from uncalcined mesoporous SBA-15 (SEW-SBA-15) templates with a controlled morphology through a nanocasting technique using ethylenediamine and carbon tetrachloride as carbon and nitrogen sources is introduced. Porosity in the SBA-15 templates is created by washing with ethanol whereas the controlled rod shaped morphology in the nanotemplates is obtained by modifying the synthesis conditions from stirring to static conditions. The prepared MCN from the SEW-SBA-15 templates retains the morphological and structural order of the template. By tuning the pore diameter of SEW-SBA-15, it is possible to prepare MCN with tuneable pore diameters, which exhibits a specific BET surface area of 596–655 m2 g−1, pore diameter of 2.8–5.7 nm, and specific pore volume of 0.49–0.89 cm3 g−1. These values are similar to those of MCN-1 prepared from the calcined SBA-15 template with an irregular morphology. The SEW-MCN-1-T samples are used as CO2 adsorbents at 0, 10 and 25 °C and pressures from 1 up to 30 bar. Among the samples, the SEW-MCN-1-130 sample with the highest specific surface area, uniform particle size and morphology, and the largest pore volume exhibits the highest CO2 uptake capacity of 15.4 mmol g−1 at 0 °C and 30 bar, which is similar to the sample prepared by the calcination route but higher than that of activated carbon and multiwalled carbon nanotubes. This is the first report of the MCN prepared from uncalcined SBA-15 which helps to avoid the required energy intensive calcination step of the template and offers a promising system for CO2 capture.