Amino functionalised Silica-Aerogels for CO₂-adsorption at low partial pressure
Effective adsorption of CO₂ at low partial pressures is required for many technical processes, such as gas purification or CO₂ removal in closed loop environmental control systems. Since the concentration of CO₂ in such applications is rather low, a high adsorption capacity is a required property for the adsorbent. Silica aerogels possessing an open pore structure, a high porosity and a high surface area, have a great potential for utilisation as CO₂ adsorbents. Nonetheless in order to reach high adsorption capacities, silica aerogels should be functionalised, for instance by amino functionalisation. In this work, two different functionalisation methods were applied for the generation of amino functionalised aerogels: co-condensation during the sol-gel process and post-treatment of the gel. The cocondensation functionalisation allows the introduction of up to 1.44 wt.% nitrogen into the aerogel structure with minor reductions in surface area, leading however only to minor increases in the adsorption capacity at low partial pressures. The post functionalisation of the gel causes a greater loss in surface area, but the CO₂ adsorption capacity increases, due to the introduction of higher amounts of amino groups into the aerogel structure (up to 5.2 wt.% nitrogen). Respectively, 0.523 mmol CO₂ /g aerogel could be adsorbed at 250 Pa. This value is comparable with the adsorption capacity at this pressure of a standard commercially available adsorbent, Zeolite 13X.
Carbon dioxide adsorption
Low partial pressure