Publication Details

Sun, Q., Li, Z., Searles, D. J., Chen, Y., Lu, G. & Du, A. (2013). Charge-controlled switchable CO2 capture on boron nitride nanomaterials. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 135 (22), 8246-8253.


Increasing concerns about the atmospheric CO2 concentration and its impact on the environment are motivating researchers to discover new materials and technologies for efficient CO2 capture and conversion. Here, we report a study of the adsorption of CO2, CH4, and H2 on boron nitride (BN) nanosheets and nanotubes (NTs) with different charge states. The results show that the process of CO2 capture/release can be simply controlled by switching on/off the charges carried by BN nanomaterials. CO2 molecules form weak interactions with uncharged BN nanomaterials and are weakly adsorbed. When extra electrons are introduced to these nanomaterials (i.e., when they are negatively charged), CO2 molecules become tightly bound and strongly adsorbed. Once the electrons are removed, CO2 molecules spontaneously desorb from BN absorbents. In addition, these negatively charged BN nanosorbents show high selectivity for separating CO2 from its mixtures with CH4 and/or H2. Our study demonstrates that BN nanomaterials are excellent absorbents for controllable, highly selective, and reversible capture and release of CO2. In addition, the charge density applied in this study is of the order of 1013 cm-2 of BN nanomaterials and can be easily realized experimentally. 2013 American Chemical Society.



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