New Adsorptive Materials and Mechanisms for Greenhouse Gas Reduction

Carbon Capture


The alarming escalation of climate change due to CO2 emissions presents one of the most pressing challenges of our time. For several decades, the focus has been on slowing carbon emissions by capturing CO2 from industrial point sources. However, this approach doesn’t reduce the overall amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Direct air capture technology stands as a potential solution to this urgent problem. Yet, the challenge is formidable, especially considering the low atmospheric concentration of CO2 (around 400 ppm). Traditional CO2 sorption methods rely on either passive physisorption or energy-intensive chemisorption in equilibrium systems. These methods involve spontaneous adsorption and energy-required desorption, constraining the energy-efficient regeneration of adsorbents and limiting the capture capacity during each cycle. Designing an active adsorption process that can continuously transfer or pump CO2 from low-concentration air into adsorbent compartments presents a significant hurdle.

Active Adsorption

Our research has recently led to a groundbreaking discovery: mechanisorption, the first fundamentally new mode of adsorption since the observations of physisorption and chemisorption in the 1930s. Read more about it here.

By building upon this newly discovered mode of mechanisorption, we aim to broaden its applications. We are focusing on utilizing this unique mechanism to enable continuous carbon dioxide adsorption from areas of low concentration. Our innovative approach centers on developing electrochemical tools to create hierarchical sorbents and membranes, facilitating active and repetitive gas pumping using renewable energy sources. With a blend of novel techniques and a deep understanding of natural processes, our group is committed to exploring new materials and mechanisms to tackle greenhouse gas reduction, potentially paving the way for a more sustainable future.