Chemical and Environmental Engineering Group

Gas Phase Adsorption Processes

Storage of H2/sub> and CH4
Nowadays hydrogen adsorption in microporous materials is considered as one of the most interesting alternatives for hydrogen storage. In this context, thermally-stable metal organic framework (MOF) materials could be considered as a promising storage alternative to high-pressure and liquefied hydrogen tanks, metal hydrides, and carbon-based adsorbents. Due to their porous nature and unusually high textural properties (up to 1.9 cm3/g of pore volume), these new materials show exceptional H2 uptake, overcoming the conventional microporous materials, becoming a real alternative to reach the D.O.E. (Department of Energy of USA) target for hydrogen storage systems (9.0 wt. % in 2015). In this sense, a 15 kJ/mol binding energy between H2 and MOF has been predicted to concede these materials real commercial possibilities as hydrogen containers under temperature and pressure close to the ambient ones. Therefore, this work is based on increasing binding energy between H2 molecules and metal-organic frameworks. This study is extended to other gases with environmental interest, like methane. Different experimental strategies are been used, including post-synthesis modifications of MOFs (ion-exchange), MOFs containing small pores to increase the confinement effects on the H2 molecule, and the presence of coordinatively unsaturated and pore-exposed metal sites increasing the metal-H2 interactions. Additionally, a rational design of MOF frameworks focused on optimizing their structural and functional characteristics have been included.

Capture of CO2
Carbon dioxide capture in central power stations is based on the CO2 separation from exhaust gases to obtain a high purity CO2 stream for storage or further industrial applications reducing the greenhouse emissions. Nowadays, the main technology developed for industrial plants is the absorption with liquid amines such as monoethanolamine (MEA), although this process presents some drawbacks such the energy consumption during regeneration. A promising alternative is the use of mesostructured adsorbents functionalized with amino groups having a high affinity for CO2. The open mesoporous structure with high superficial area and pore volume allow a rapid diffusion of CO2 molecules which are fixed over amino groups incorporated in the silica structure. Our research is focused on the development of materials containing high number of amino groups to obtain highly selective CO2 adsorbents.

Current research projects:

Materiales metalorgánicos avanzados (MOF) para la adsorción de gases de interés mediambietal y catálisis heterogénea de elevada selectividad (MOF-MADCAT)

Financial Support: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación

  • Start Year: 2012
  • End Year: 2015

Materiales Metal-orgánicos avanzados (MOF) para la adsorción de gases de interés medioambiental y catálisis heterogénea de elevada selectividad (CTQ2012-38015)

Financial Support: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad

  • Start Year: 2012
  • End Year: 2015