Using negative emissions technologies for the net removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere could provide a pathway to limit global temperature rises. Direct air capture of carbon dioxide offers the prospect of permanently lowering the atmospheric CO2 concentration, providing that economical and energy-efficient technologies can be developed and deployed on a large scale. Here, we report an approach to direct air capture, at the laboratory scale, using mostly off-the-shelf materials and equipment. First, CO2 absorption is achieved with readily available and environmentally friendly aqueous amino acid solutions (glycine and sarcosine) using a household humidifier. The CO2-loaded solutions are then reacted with a simple guanidine compound, which crystallizes as a very insoluble carbonate salt and regenerates the amino acid sorbent. Finally, effective CO2 release and near-quantitative regeneration of the guanidine compound are achieved by relatively mild heating of the carbonate crystals using concentrated solar power.
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This research was supported by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences Division.
Supplementary Figures 1–12, Supplementary Tables 1–3 and Supplementary Methods
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Nature Energy (2018)