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Rationale design of sustainable porous organosilicas for optimal CO2 uptake from biogas

Tildelt: kr 0

Biogas is a renewable energy source that contributes to carbon-neutrality by reducing GHG emissions. An EU-wide climate policy framework supports a circular economy based on biomethane. Yet, biomethane is largely contaminated with CO2 that must be removed. A promising method for biogas upgrading benefits from the use of solid adsorbents, cutting down 40% in sorbent regeneration costs compared to the use of decades-old liquid amine absorbents, which suffers from poor chemical stability and high regeneration energy costs. How can GRACE contribute to the global effort towards the design of future-generation sorbents with improved CO2/CH4 separation? GRACE aims at providing answers to this end by rationale materials’ design that will help to build an atomic-level understanding of intermolecular interactions at the gas-solid interface governing thermodynamic/kinetic phenomena at sorbent surfaces. The scarcity of atomic-scale studies in gas-sorption mechanisms at porous surfaces has hindered further progresses on the synthesis of better CO2-adsorbent materials. This knowledge gap is thus my major motivation. To tackle this challenge, GRACE encompasses 3 main goals: 1) design sustainable periodic mesoporous organosilica (PMO) sorbents; 2) obtain structure-property relationships studying gas-sorbents at the atomic level; 3) test distinct PMO grain shapes for better biogas upgrading under industrially-relevant operating conditions. My past expertise in materials’ design and multidisciplinary characterization skills will be a valuable asset not only for the synthesis of viable sorbents with favorable properties for CO2/CH4 separation but also for the tandem use of operando TGA-IR, NMR/DNP spectroscopies and gas adsorption to study confined 13C-enriched CO2 species (using pure CO2 or gas mixtures). This equipment is hosted at CICECO-UAVR, an internationally renowned lab that fosters interdisciplinary research and is committed to support the growth of young researchers.


WIDENING-Widening participation and spreading excellence


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