Advanced Porous Materials for Carbon Capture and Sequestration
Mentor: Dr. Mario Wriedt
Department: Chemistry & Biomolecular Science
Carbon capture and sequestration has been proposed as a means to mediate anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions and has received a considerable amount of research attention in the last decade. The most energy- and cost intensive aspect of carbon capture is removing carbon dioxide from flue gas streams of power plants, because the state-of-the-art amine-scrubbing technology places an enormous parasitic demand on the power plant during sorbent regeneration. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have been proposed as a new means to replace current sorption-based methodologies. Their large accessible voids and high surface areas assure enormous potential as high capacity sorbents for a broad range of applications in gas and small-molecule adsorption and separation technologies. The difficulty in using materials to selectively physisorb CO2 from flue gas lies in precisely tuning sorption interactions to only CO2. This will be achieved by the systematic design and characterization of Zwitterionic MOFs as a new simple and controllable means to introduce charged organic surfaces into MOF pore linings to enhance host-guest interactions. The modular and systematic design of MOF chemistry makes this work an ideal platform to be performed by undergraduates in form of a REU summer program. Sample work comprises: ligand synthesis using standard organic protocols, their self-assembly into MOFs, and characterization of physical properties using modern solid-state analytical tools. This approach has led to numerous research papers, co-authored by Wriedt labís undergraduates and published in high-impact journals, including J. Amer. Chem., Inorg. Chem. and Cryst. Eng. Comm.