Capturing Carbon Dioxide from Air with Charged-Sorbents

08 April 2024, Version 2


Emissions reduction and greenhouse gas removal from the atmosphere are both necessary to achieve net-zero emissions and limit climate change.1 There is thus a need for improved sorbents for the capture of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, a process known as direct air capture. In particular, low-cost materials that can be regenerated at low temperatures would overcome the limitations of current technologies. In this work, we introduce a new class of designer sorbent materials known as “charged-sorbents”. These materials are prepared through a battery-like charging process which accumulates ions in the pores of low-cost activated carbons, with the inserted ions then serving as adsorption sites for carbon dioxide adsorption. We use our charging process to accumulate reactive hydroxide ions in the pores of a carbon electrode, and find that the resulting sorbent material can rapidly capture carbon dioxide from ambient air via (bi)carbonate formation. Unlike traditional bulk carbonates, charged-sorbent regeneration can be achieved at low temperatures (90-100 ºC), and the sorbent's conductive nature permits direct Joule heating regeneration2,3 using renewable electricity. Given their highly tailorable pore environments and low cost, we anticipate that charged-sorbents will find numerous potential applications in chemical separations, catalysis, and beyond.


carbon capture
direct air capture
charged Sorbents
Joule heating


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