A novel material with unique carbon dioxide retention properties could play a role in reducing emissions from fossil fuel processes say researchers in Nottingham.
The material – a unique partially interpenetrated metal-organic framework – represents a new class of porous material say the team from the School of Chemistry at the University of Nottingham. NOTT-202a consist of a tetra-carboxylate ligand – a honeycomb like structure made of a series of molecules or ions bound to a central metal atom – and filled with indium metal centres.
This forms novel structure of two interlocked frameworks which allows selective adsorption of carbon dioxide. Other gases such as nitrogen, methane and hydrogen pass through, but the carbon dioxide remains trapped – even at low temperatures.
“The unique defect structure that this new material shows can be correlated directly to its gas adsorption properties,” said Professor Martin Schröder, lead researcher, and professor and head of Inorganic Chemistry.
Researchers took state-of-the-art x-ray powder diffraction measurements at the Diamond Light Source and used advanced computer modelling to probe and gain insight into the unique carbon dioxide capturing properties of the material.
“Detailed analyses via structure determination and computational modelling have been critical in determining and rationalising the structure and function of this material,” said Schröder.
The work – published in Nature Materials – also included researchers from the University of Newcastle and the STFC Daresbury Laboratory and forms part of an on-going effort to develop materials for gas storage applications, sieving and purification, carbon capture, chemical reactivity and sensing.
The work could have an impact on the advancement of new carbon capture products for reducing emission from fossil fuel processes. Selective capture of carbon dioxide in this porous material could have the potential to store and purify fuel and flue gases from power generation.
The University of Nottingham has a key role in the UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre (UKCCSRC) which leads research into carbon capture and storage.