Fabrication of Mesoporous Silica MCM-41 Via Sol-Gel and Hydrothermal Methods for Amine Grafting and CO2 Capture Application
In the current scenario, it is well known that the world’s energy consumption increases at a rapid pace. This is because of increment in population growth as well as advanced development in economic conditions of growing nations. All over the world, coal remains as the major source of energy for electricity generation. Combustion of coal leads to emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere which is considered to be the major greenhouse gas responsible for global warming issue. Even though government policies enforce laws to utilize sustainable resources and other alternatives, complete eradication of coal resources for electricity generation cannot be possible in practice. This is due to the fact that global energy demand cannot be met in the future years by utilization of other alternatives alone rather than coal. Therefore, it becomes clear that combustion of coal cannot be avoided in order to meet the global energy demand. This in turn indicates the fact that there will be continuous rise in CO2 emissions in the atmosphere due to combustion of coal. It is considered that concentration of CO2 released from coal-based power plants is 500 times greater as compared to atmosphere. Therefore, carbon capture from power plants will be an appropriate option to address the global warming issue at this point of time. Thus, there prevails urging need for promoted R&D activities in order to develop a suitable technology for carbon capture application. Adsorption by solid amine-grafted mesoporous silica adsorbents is regarded as an effective technique for CO2 capture. Much emphasis on the development of suitable support for amine grafting has not been provided in the literature. Hence, the current work investigates on the suitable synthesis method to develop mesoporous silica MCM-41 with high surface area and enhanced pore volume. In the present work, two different synthesis methods (sol-gel and hydrothermal) are used for the preparation of MCM-41. The MCM-41 sample synthesized via hydrothermal method demonstrated increased surface area and pore volume as compared to sol-gel technique. Thereafter, structural, thermal, and morphological characteristics of MCM-41 synthesized by hydrothermal method are discussed.