Designing silica xerogels containing RTIL for CO2 capture and CO2/CH4 separation: Influence of ILs anion, cation and cation side alkyl chain length and ramification

Leonardo M. dos Santos, Franciele L. Bernard, Bárbara B. Polesso, Ingrid S. Pinto, Claudio C. Frankenberg, Marta C. Corvo, Pedro L. Almeida, Eurico Cabrita, Sandra Einloft

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7 Citations (Scopus)


CO2 separation from natural gas is considered to be a crucial strategy to mitigate global warming problems, meet product specification, pipeline specs and other application specific requirements. Silica xerogels (SX) are considered to be potential materials for CO2 capture due to their high specific surface area. Thus, a series of silica xerogels functionalized with imidazolium, phosphonium, ammonium and pyridinium-based room-temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) were synthesized. The synthesized silica xerogels were characterized by NMR, helium pycnometry, DTA-TG, BET, SEM and TEM. CO2 sorption, reusability and CO2/CH4 selectivity were assessed by the pressure-decay technique. Silica xerogels containing IL demonstrated advantages compared to RTILs used as separation solvents in CO2 capture processes including higher CO2 sorption capacity and faster sorption/desorption. Using fluorinated anion for functionalization of silica xerogels leads to a higher affinity for CO2 over CH4. The best performance was obtained by SX- [bmim] [TF2N] (223.4 mg CO2/g mg/g at 298.15 K and 20 bar). Moreover, SX- [bmim] [TF2N] showed higher CO2 sorption capacity as compared to other reported sorbents. CO2 sorption and CO2/CH4 selectivity results were submitted to an analysis of variance and the means compared using Tukey's test (5%).

Original languageEnglish
Article number110340
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2020


  • CO separation
  • Ionic liquids
  • Natural gas
  • Silica xerogels


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