CO2 Sorption in Ionic Liquid Crystals

Grace Redwine, Noemi Leick, Thomas Gennett

Research output: NRELPoster


Ionic liquid crystals (ILCs) have an affinity for certain polarizable gases such as CO2, due to their similarity to ionic liquids. We investigated three ILCs in the [1-alkyl-3-methylimidazolium+] family: n=12,14 with [BF4-] and [PF6-]: liquid crystalline analogues to ionic liquids with moderate (e.g., 1-2 mol%) CO2 solubility at atmospheric conditions: [1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium+] with [BF4-] and [PF6-]. While ionic liquids show high CO2 solubility, regenerating the CO2 is a high-energy process. Liquid crystals show low CO2 solubility but have a much lower regeneration energy requirement. Will ionic liquid crystals uptake CO2? What are the energy requirements of regenerating CO2? Conclusions: 1. C12mim BF4- shows the highest sorption at 0.12 wt% CO2 in the isotropic phase vs. C14mim BF4- with 0.097 wt% in the smectic phase. We hypothesize that the increase in chain length affects the free volume of the smectic vs. isotropic phase of C14mim BF4-, increasing the latter. 2. The change in anion from BF4- to PF6- decreased the sorption to an insignificant level more analogous to a physical adsorption onto the material in all phases. We hypothesize that the change in anion to the larger, less charge dense PF6- decreased the attractive forces between CO2 and the anion. 3. 0.12 wt% of CO2 in C12mim BF4- is small but significant. This in combination with the room temperature release of CO2 after only requiring refrigeration temperatures to occlude the CO2, making ionic liquid crystals promising materials for future.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NamePresented at the American Chemical Society (ACS) Fall Meeting, 21-25 August 2022, Chicago, Illinois

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PO-5900-83801


  • carbon dioxide sorption
  • CO2
  • differential scanning calorimetry
  • hydrogen storage
  • HyMARC
  • ionic liquid crystal
  • regenerating
  • temperature programmed desorption
  • thermogravimetric analysis
  • TPD


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