What is it about?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has suggested that the use of negative emissions technologies is necessary for reaching the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 ºC by mid-century. This requires the development of direct air capture (DAC) technology to remove excess carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. We report how zeolites can capture low concentration CO2 from air by physical adsorption, and that a type of commercialized zeolite, mordenite (MOR)-type zeolite, is a very promising adsorbent for DAC. It is generally believed that physisorbents are not applicable to the DAC systems due to their weak affinity for CO2. We have demonstrated that the confinement effects of zeolites, and in particular MOR-type zeolites, facilitate the capture of CO2 from air.

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Why is it important?

The rapid and massive implementation of DAC technologies requires the development of cost-effective adsorbents that are energy efficient, environmentally friendly, and safe for large-scale applications. Our findings show that MOR-type zeolites can selectively capture CO2 from air via physical adsorption to give high capacity and low energy consumption for desorption, thus offering possibilities of reducing the cost of DAC. We also suggest rules for the design of zeolites for carbon capture that depend on the concentration of CO2.

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This page is a summary of: Confinement effects facilitate low-concentration carbon dioxide capture with zeolites, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, September 2022, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2211544119.
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