, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 235-246
Date: 14 Jan 2011

Adsorption of CO2 on nitrogen-enriched activated carbon and zeolite 13X

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Adsorption may be a potentially attractive alternative to capturing CO2 from stationary sources in the context of Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) technologies. Activated carbon and zeolites are state-of-art adsorbents which may be used for CO2 adsorption, however physisorption alone tends to be insignificant at high temperatures. In the present work, commercial adsorbents have been impregnated with monoethanolamine (MEA) and triethanolamine (TEA) in order to investigate the effect of the modified surface chemistry on CO2 adsorption, especially above room temperature. Adsorption isotherms for CO2, N2 and CH4 were measured in a gravimetrically system in the pressure range of UHV to 10 bar, at 298 and 348 K for activated carbon and zeolite 13X supports. The adsorbed concentration of CO2 was significantly higher than those of CH4 and N2 for both adsorbents in the whole pressure range studied, zeolite 13X showing a remarkable affinity for CO2 at very low pressures. However, at 348 K, the adsorbed concentration of CO2 decreases significantly. The supports impregnated with concentrated amine solutions and dried in air suffered a detrimental effect on the textural properties, although CO2 uptake became much less susceptible to temperature increase. Impregnations carried out with dilute solution followed by drying in inert atmosphere yielded materials with very similar textural characteristics as compared to the parent support. CO2 isotherms in such materials showed a significant change with similar capacities at 348 K as compared to the original support at 298 K in the case of activated carbons. The impregnated zeolite showed a decrease in adsorbed phase concentration in low pressures for a given temperature, but the adsorbed amount also seemed to be less affected by temperature. These results are promising and indicate that CO2 adsorption may be enhanced despite high process temperatures (e.g. 348 K), if convenient impregnation and drying methods are applied.