Adsorption technology for CO2 separation and capture: a perspective

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The capture of CO2 from process and flue gas streams and subsequent sequestration was first proposed as a greenhouse gas mitigation option in the 1990s. This proposal spawned a series of laboratory and field tests in CO2 capture which has now grown into a major world-wide research effort encompassing a myriad of capture technologies and ingenious flow sheets integrating power production and carbon capture. Simultaneously, the explosive growth in materials science in the last two decades has produced a wealth of new materials and knowledge providing us with new avenues to explore to fine tune CO2 adsorption and selectivity. Laboratory and field studies over the last decade have explored the synergy of process and materials to produce numerous CO2 capture technologies and materials based on cyclic adsorption processes. In this brief perspective, we look at some of these developments and comment on the application and limitations of adsorption process to CO2 capture. We identify major engineering obstacles to overcome as well as potential breakthroughs necessary to achieve commercialization of adsorption processes for CO2 capture. Our perspective is primarily restricted to post-combustion flue gas capture and CO2 capture from natural gas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-231
Number of pages7
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Adsorption processes
  • CO adsorbents
  • CO capture
  • Pressure swing adsorption
  • Temperature swing adsorption

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