Adsorbent-based carbon capture is only feasible if adsorption-desorption cycles are both fully regenerating and efficient. This work proposes a regenerative pH swing process and a pH swing regenerative adsorbent that are inspired by natural CO2 conversion by carbonic anhydrase biocatalysts found in mammalian red blood cells. The main objective is to develop, test and analyze a synthetic pH Swing Adsorption (pHSA) system as well as a pHSA compatible solid adsorbent to capture CO2 from a simulated ambient air gas stream. The lead developed adsorbent is a carbon black co-activated with potassium carbonate and nitrogenous copolymer that is impregnated with immobilized bovine carbonic anhydrase and thereby deemed “BCA/KN-CB”. BCA/KN-CB has preliminarily demonstrated both competitive CO2 adsorption capacity and limited regenerative ability under experimental pHSA conditions. In addition, BCA-based adsorbents achieved higher adsorption capacities than non-BCA adsorbent counterparts. The BCA/KN-CB adsorbent displayed both large point of zero charge (PZC) swings and regenerative stability. The proposed pHSA system requires essentially zero energy expenditure to achieve intended environments for capture and regeneration. With 1 kg of adsorbent, pHSA has the ability to capture 1 kg CO2 in less than 4 h of cycling. The tested pHSA adsorbent can also capture more than 96% of total CO2 in a given raw gas stream flowing through the capture chamber. This proof-of-concept study of a pH swing adsorption/biocatalytic adsorbent system suggests the potential to effectively operate under ambient conditions and exhibit advantageous operational efficiencies to other high-profile CO2 capture systems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Building and Construction
- Mechanical Engineering
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law