The feasible capture and separation of CO2 and N2 from CH4 is an important task for natural gas upgrading and the control of greenhouse gas emissions. Here, we studied the microporous covalent imine networks (CIN) material prepared through Schiff base condensation and exhibited superior chemical robustness under both acidic and basic conditions and high thermal stability. The material possesses a relatively uniform nanoparticle size of approximately 70 to 100 nm. This network featured permanent porosity with a high surface area (722 m2g-1) and micropores. A single-component gas adsorption study showed enhanced CO2 and CH4 uptakes of 3.32 mmol/g and 1.14 mmol/g, respectively, at 273 K and 1 bar, coupled with high separation selectivities for CO2/CH4, CH4/N2, and CO2/N2 of 23, 11.8 and 211, respectively. The enriched Lewis basicity in the porous skeletons favours the interaction of quadrupolar CO2 and polarizable CH4, resulting in enhanced CH4 and CO2 uptake and high CH4/N2, CO2/CH4 and CO2/N2 selectivities. Breakthrough experiments showed high CO2/CH4, CH4/N2 and CO2/N2 selectivities of 7.29, 40 and 125, respectively, at 298 K and 1 bar. High heats of adsorption for CH4 and CO2 (QstCH4; 32.61 kJ mol-1 and QstCO2; 42.42 kJ mol-1) provide the ultimate validation for the high selectivity. To the best of our knowledge, such a versatile adsorbent material that displays both enhanced uptake and selectivity for a variety of binary gas mixtures, including CO2/ CH4, CO2/N2 and CH4/N2, has not been extensively explored.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): URF/1/1378
Acknowledgements: We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), competitive research grant URF/1/1378.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Filtration and Separation
- Analytical Chemistry