Korean researchers are going to commercialize a novel stable absorbent solving the problem of low oxidative stability of amines. This new technology is able to enhance the stability of amine-containing adsorbents at 50 times. Scientists used polyethyleneimine (PEI), which was functionalized with 1,2- epoxybutane (EB), and chelators as a catalyst poison. Therefore, this groundbreaking discovery will allow the wide practical use of amine-containing solids that capturing CO2 and consuming less energy for the process of regeneration.

The technology was developed by the scientific team, led by Professor Minkee Choi and Ph.D. candidate Woosung Choi, from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

The delight of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide is a significant investigative field due to its ability to decrease anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Furthermore, amine-containing adsorbents can be not only highly effective carbon capturing and storage (CCS) method but eco-friendly. Despite the fact, that there were thousands of attempts to optimize it the technique still has some limitations such as amine loss, reactor corrosion, and the high energy consumption to regenerate. In order to overcome these barriers, solid adsorbents can be a suitable alternative. The most important moment is that these adsorbents should be stable upon repeated CO2 adsorption-desorption cycles over a long time. Typically, the low potential of adsorbent stability requires the incessant supplementation of fresh adsorbents but it highly enlarges the cost of the process of CO2 capturing.

The scientific group has discovered that the minimal amount of iron and copper, which are present in the amine expedite the oxidative dispensation of the amine-containing adsorbent. Consequently, they decided to use a chelator substance that has the capacity to restrain the activation of the impurities. The team synthesized a modified PEI/silica, which demonstrates high oxidative stability. The adsorbent was developed by combining 2 methods. PEI was functionalized with 1,2-EB that produces tethered 2-hydroxybutyl groups. Minimal amounts of chelators (<2wt%), which were pre-supported into a silica support before the impregnation of  PEI. Scientists managed to discover that the polymeric that catalyze amine oxidation. As the result, the supplements of chelators as a catalyst poison have the ability to restrain the speed of amine oxidation.

Ph.D. candidate Woosung Choi mentioned that the technology makes absorbents suitable to commercial standards.