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Computational Screening Methodology Identifies Effective Solvents for CO2 Capture


A.A. Orlov, A. Valtz, C. Coquelet, X. Rozanska, E. Wimmer, G. Marcou, D. Horvath, B. Poulain, A. Varnek, F. de Meyer

Communications Chemistry

Carbon capture and storage technologies are projected to increasingly contribute to cleaner energy transitions by significantly reducing CO2 emissions from fossil fuel-driven power and industrial plants. The industry standard technology for CO2 capture is chemical absorption with aqueous alkanolamines, which are often being mixed with an activator, piperazine, to increase the overall CO2 absorption rate. Inefficiency of the process due to the parasitic energy required for thermal regeneration of the solvent drives the search for new tertiary amines with better kinetics. Improving the efficiency of experimental screening using computational tools is challenging due to the complex nature of chemical absorption. We have developed a novel computational approach that combines kinetic experiments, molecular simulations and machine learning for the in silico screening of hundreds of prospective candidates and identify a class of tertiary amines that absorbs CO2 faster than a typical commercial solvent when mixed with piperazine, which was confirmed experimentally.

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