Evaluation of the impact of H2O, O2, and SO2 on postcombustion CO2 capture in metal-organic frameworks. Academic Article uri icon


  • Molecular modeling methods are used to estimate the influence of impurity species: water, O(2), and SO(2) in flue gas mixtures present in postcombustion CO(2) capture using a metal organic framework, HKUST-1, as a model sorbent material. Coordinated and uncoordinated water effects on CO(2) capture are analyzed. Increase of CO(2) adsorption is observed for both cases, which can be attributed to the enhanced binding energy between CO(2) and HKUST-1 due to the introduction of a small amount of water. Density functional theory calculations indicate that the binding energy between CO(2) and HKUST-1 with coordinated water is ~1 kcal/mol higher than that without coordinated water. It is found that the improvement of CO(2)/N(2) selectivity induced by coordinated water may mainly be attributed to the increased CO(2) adsorption on the hydrated HKUST-1. On the other hand, the enhanced selectivity induced by uncoordinated water in the flue gas mixture can be explained on the basis of the competition of adsorption sites between water and CO(2) (N(2)). At low pressures, a significant CO(2)/N(2) selectivity increase is due to the increase of CO(2) adsorption and decrease of N(2) adsorption as a consequence of competition of adsorption sites between water and N(2). However, with more water molecules adsorbed at higher pressures, the competition between water and CO(2) leads to the decrease of CO(2) adsorption capacity. Therefore, high pressure operation should be avoided in HKUST-1 sorbents for CO(2) capture. In addition, the effects of O(2) and SO(2) on CO(2) capture in HKUST-1 are investigated: The CO(2)/N(2) selectivity does not change much even with relatively high concentrations of O(2) in the flue gas (up to 8%). A slightly lower CO(2)/N(2) selectivity of a CO(2)/N(2)/H(2)O/SO(2) mixture is observed compared with that in a CO(2)/N(2)/H(2)O mixture, especially at high pressures, due to the strong SO(2) binding with HKUST-1.

published proceedings

  • Langmuir

author list (cited authors)

  • Yu, J., Ma, Y., & Balbuena, P. B.

citation count

  • 74

complete list of authors

  • Yu, Jiamei||Ma, Yuguang||Balbuena, Perla B

publication date

  • May 2012