According to the IPCC AR5, the Earth has warmed 0.85°C and sea level has risen by 0.19 meters in the 20th century. Anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have vastly increased ambient GHG concentrations, with CO2 concentrations now at 140% of their pre-industrial levels. To halt the negative effects of climate change, efforts must be made to limit carbon dioxide emissions. Carbon capture and storage (CCS), which refers to the process of capturing carbon dioxide from waste gas streams and storing it underground in geological formations, allows society to maintain the existing carbon infrastructure in a more sustainable manner. It is a necessary step between a carbon-laden economy and a renewable energy one.
Our carbon capture research focuses on both stationary and mobile sources; pressure swing adsorption using elastic-layered metal organic frameworks (MOFs) from fossil fuel power plants and ambient onboard capture and temporary storage using MOFs for vehicles. Capture is performed via physical adsorption onto porous solids with high carbon selectivity and capacity. For these MOF adsorbents, several different research approaches are taken to study their efficacy and performance limitations: atomistic computer modeling, chemical synthesis, pure adsorption isotherms, and binary and multi gas blend breakthrough/separation experiments. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is used to compare different adsorbents, while the environmental and societal benefits are analyzed through environmental input/output analysis, climate modeling, and policy studies.