Computational Evaluation of Carriers in Facilitated Transport Membranes for Postcombustion Carbon Capture

XP Deng and CL Zou and Y Han and LC Lin and WSW Ho, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C, 124, 25322-25330 (2020).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.0c07627

Incorporating molecular amines as mobile carriers in facilitated transport membranes (FTMs) has been demonstrated to significantly enhance the CO2 permeance and CO2/N-2 selectivity of the membrane for CO2 capture from flue gas. In this study, by employing computational techniques including density functional theory calculations and molecular simulations, the role of mobile carriers has been systematically studied at a molecular level from the perspectives of the amine-CO2 reaction chemistry, diffusivities of carriers and gases, and N-2 solubility. The latter two properties were also investigated as a function of water uptake. The water uptake values of FTMs were experimentally quantified too. The introduction of mobile carriers was shown to substantially enhance the diffusivities of CO2 reaction products compared to FTMs without mobile carriers. The choice of mobile carriers was also demonstrated to influence the separation performance. Computationally, 2-(1-piperazinyl)ethylamine sarcosinate (PZEA-Sar) exhibited a faster reaction kinetics and slightly higher CO2 absorption capacity as compared to piperazine glycinate (PZ-Gly). Experimentally, the FTM incorporating PZEA-Sar mobile carriers also showed a higher CO2 permeance. The good agreement validated the computational models employed and insights generated in this study. The outcomes of this work shed light on the future design and selection of carrier structures, and the adopted computational approaches can be employed to discover promising mobile carrier candidates.

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