Reinventing Design Principles for Developing Low-Viscosity Carbon Dioxide-Binding Organic Liquids for Flue Gas Clean Up

Deepika Malhotra, Phillip K. Koech, David J. Heldebrant, David C. Cantu, Feng Zheng, Vassiliki Alexandra Glezakou, Roger Rousseau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Anthropogenic CO2emissions from point sources (e.g., coal fired-power plants) account for the majority of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Water-lean solvent systems such as CO2-binding organic liquids (CO2BOLs) are being developed to reduce the energy requirement for CO2capture. Many water-lean solvents such as CO2BOLs are currently limited by the high viscosities of concentrated electrolyte solvents, thus many of these solvents have yet to move toward commercialization. Conventional standard trial-and-error approaches for viscosity reduction, while effective, are time consuming and economically expensive. We rethink the metrics and design principles of low-viscosity CO2-capture solvents using a combined synthesis and computational modeling approach. We critically study the effects of viscosity reducing factors such as orientation of hydrogen bonding, introduction of higher degrees of freedom, and cation or anion charge solvation, and assess whether or how each factor affects viscosity of CO2BOL CO2capture solvents. Ultimately, we found that hydrogen bond orientation and strength is the predominant factor influencing the viscosity in CO2BOL solvents. With this knowledge, a new CO2BOL variant, 1-MEIPADM-2-BOL, was synthesized and tested, resulting in a solvent that is approximately 60 % less viscous at 25 mol % CO2loading than our base compound 1-IPADM-2-BOL. The insights gained from the current study redefine the fundamental concepts and understanding of what influences viscosity in concentrated organic CO2-capture solvents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)636-642
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 8 2017


  • carbon dioxide
  • hydrogen bonding
  • molecular design
  • organic liquids
  • viscosity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Energy(all)

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