Amro El Badawy
Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from burning fossil fuels is the major contributor to climate change. Carbon capture from flue gas, is an attractive short-term approach to partially address the issue of climate change. Metal organic frameworks (MOFs), synthesized using organic linker molecules and metal joints, are among the most promising solid adsorbents for CO2 capture applications. Ƴ-cyclodextrin, a hydrophobic and eco-friendly MOF, has been tested for sorption of CO2, however, minimal sorption was observed. One of the potential reasons for this low sorption is the large pore volumes inside the γ-cyclodextrin (γ – CD) MOF. Thus, the objective of this research study is to functionalize γ-cyclodextrin with polyethylenimine (PEI), linear and branched, with different molecular weights ranging from 600-70,000 g/mol to determine the optimal PEI type that enhances the γ-cyclodextrin MOF’s CO2 sorption capacity. It is hypothesized that the incorporation of PEI into the pores of γ-cyclodextrin MOFs would: 1) introduce Lewis basic amine groups that selectively sorb CO2 molecules and 2) the PEI molecules would narrow the pores of the γ-cyclodextrin to an optimal size to allow for CO2 attraction. γ -cyclodextrin MOFs will be synthesized and functionalized with linear PEI and branched PEI with molecular weights ranging from 600 – 70,000. The CO2 sorption capacity of the γ-cyclodextrin MOFs will be quantified at CO2 pressures ranging from 0.03 – 1.0 atm using a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) assembly. The impact of molecular weight of PEI on this sorption capacity of the γ -cyclodextrin MOFs will be analyzed. Preliminary data has been gathered and the results are promising - moficiatons of γ -cyclodextrin MOFs with linear and 600 g/mole branched PEI have shown to enhance its CO2 soprtion capacity. This proposal is submitted to seek funding to improve the QCM testing assmebly to allow for testing CO2 at lower pressures that simulate typical CO2 concntrations in flue gas consitions.
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