Selective Adsorption of CO2on Zeolites NaK-ZK-4 with Si/Al of 1.8-2.8
Journal article, 2020
Zeolites with appropriately narrow pore apertures can kinetically enhance the selective adsorption of CO2 over N2. Here, we showed that the exchangeable cations (e.g., Na+ or K+) on zeolite ZK-4 play an important role in the CO2 selectivity. Zeolites NaK ZK-4 with Si/Al = 1.8-2.8 had very high CO2 selectivity when an intermediate number of the exchangeable cations were K+ (the rest being Na+). Zeolites NaK ZK-4 with Si/Al = 1.8 had high CO2 uptake capacity and very high CO2-over-N2 selectivity (1190). Zeolite NaK ZK-4 with Si/Al = 2.3 and 2.8 also had enhanced CO2 selectivity with an intermediate number of K+ cations. The high CO2 selectivity was related to the K+ cation in the 8-rings of the α-cage, together with Na+ cations in the 6-ring, obstructing the diffusion of N2 throughout the zeolite. The positions of the K+ cation in the 8-ring moved slightly (max 0.2 Å) toward the center of the α-cage upon the adsorption of CO2, as revealed by in situ X-ray diffraction. The CO2-over-N2 selectivity was somewhat reduced when the number of K+ cations approached 100%. This was possibly due to the shift in the K+ cation positions in the 8-ring when the number of Na+ was going toward 0%, allowing N2 diffusion through the 8-ring. According to in situ infrared spectroscopy, the amount of chemisorbed CO2 was reduced on zeolite ZK-4s with increasing Si/Al ratio. In the context of potential applications, a kinetically enhanced selection of CO2 could be relevant for applications in carbon capture and bio- and natural gas upgrading.