Chemical Engineering and Industrial Chemistry

Direct Air Capture of CO2 with Aqueous Peptides and Crystalline Guanidines

Radu Custelcean Oak Ridge National Laboratory


Negative emission technologies, including direct air capture (DAC) of carbon dioxide, are now considered essential for mitigating climate change, but existing DAC processes tend to have excessively high energy requirements, mostly associated with sorbent regeneration. Here we demonstrate a new approach to DAC that combines atmospheric CO2 absorption by an aqueous oligopeptide (i.e., glycylglycine) with bicarbonate crystallization by a simple guanidine compound (i.e., glyoxal-bis-iminoguanidine). In this phase-changing system, the peptide and the guanidine compounds work in synergy, and the cyclic CO2 capacity can be maximized by matching the pKa values of the two components. The resulting DAC process has a significantly lower regeneration energy compared to state-of-the-art solvent-based DAC technologies.


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Supplementary material

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Supplemental Information