Molecular Simulation of Capture of Sulfur-Containing Gases by Porous Aromatic Frameworks

Difan Zhang, Xiaofei Jing, David S. Sholl, Susan B. Sinnott

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30 Scopus citations


The adsorption of pure SO2 and H2S and their selective adsorption from various gas mixtures by porous aromatic frameworks (PAFs) are investigated using grand canonical Monte Carlo (GCMC) simulations and first-principles density functional theory calculations. The influence of functional groups including -CH3, -CN, -COOH, -COOCH3, -OH, -OCH3, -NH2, and -NO2 on the adsorption of pure SO2 and H2S as well as selective capture of SO2 and H2S from SO2/N2, SO2/CO2, H2S/CO2, and H2S/CH4 mixtures is explored. Our calculations indicate that PAFs exhibit high loadings for pure SO2 and H2S gas adsorption at 298 K up to 40 bar compare to other gases such as CH4 and CO2. Additional functional groups enhance gas uptake at low pressures because of stronger interaction with the gas molecules while reducing gas uptake at high pressures because of a decrease in pore volume. The contributions of electrostatic interactions to gas adsorption loadings are analyzed in GCMC simulations. Ideal adsorbed solution theory calculations generally overestimate SO2 and H2S adsorption selectivity in gas mixtures but qualitatively predict the trends seen in GCMC simulations for these systems. The GCMC simulations further show that the inclusion of any of the functional groups we considered increases the selectivity of SO2/N2, SO2/CO2, H2S/CO2, and H2S/CH4 relative to unfunctionalized materials. Electron-withdrawing groups such as -CN, -COOH, -COOCH3, and -NO2 are more effective at enhancing adsorption selectivity in this work. The highest selectivity in the PAFs functionalized by these groups is predicted at the lowest temperature we considered (273 K), whereas it occurs at 298 K for PAFs with other functional groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18456-18467
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number32
StatePublished - Aug 16 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Energy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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