DEVELOPMENT OF MESOPOROUS MEMBRANE MATERIALS FOR CO2 SEPARATION Page: 2 of 8
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Mesoporous and precipitated alumina were synthesized as the base material for CO2
adsorbent. The porous alumina is doped with Ba to enhance its CO2 affinity due to the basicity of
Ba. It is shown by gas chromatograph (GC) that the addition of Ba enhances the separation CO2
from N2. It was found that mesoporous alumina has larger specific surface area and better
selectivity of CO2 than precipitated alumina. Ba improves the affinity of mesoporous alumina
with CO2. Phase may play an important role in selective adsorption of CO2. It is speculated that
mesoporous alumina is more reactive than precipitated alumina creating the xBaO-A203 phase
that may be more affinitive to CO2 than N2. On the other hand, the barium alumnate phase
(Ba3A1206) in the mesoporous sample does not help the adsorption of CO2.
CO2 is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. The major source of CO2
comes from emissions of power plants, industrial production plants, automobiles, etc. The
emitted flue gas also contains significant amount of N2 at temperature of hundreds of Centigrade.
The main objective of our proposed work is to develop a cost-effective membrane that can
separate N2 and CO2 with high selectivity. Selection due to size will not work because the kinetic
diameters of CO2 and N2 molecules are close to each other (0.36 nm and 0.40 nm, respectively).
We proposed to synthesize porous inorganic materials that can selectively adsorb CO2. We will
synthesize high surface-area mesoporous alumina which is doped with a basic element, Ba, to
enhance the CO2 adsorption.
The current approach to separate CO2 from other gases, especially N2, in the hot gas
effluent of power plants has been the use of zeolite membranes. Zeolites are microcrystalline
aluminosilicates that have pores in the order of < 1 nm. The gas permeability of zeolites is
limited due to the tortuous pore structures. In addition, the selectivity between CO2 and N2 by
zeolites is low because the kinetic diameters of CO2 and N2 are similar in size. Recently, there
were several studies indicated that the selective adsorption of CO2 could be an effective way of
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Shih, Wei-Heng; Zhao, Qiang & Wang, Nanlin. DEVELOPMENT OF MESOPOROUS MEMBRANE MATERIALS FOR CO2 SEPARATION, report, May 1, 2002; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc740146/m1/2/: accessed February 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.