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Nano Research

Article Title

Facile synthesis of porous carbon nitride spheres with hierarchical three-dimensional mesostructures for CO2 capture

Keywords

Mesoporous materials, carbon nitride, nanocasting, sphere, hard template, CO2 capture

Abstract

Porous carbon nitride (CN) spheres with partially crystalline frameworks have been successfully synthesized via a nanocasting approach by using spherical mesoporous cellular silica foams (MCFs) as a hard template, and ethylenediamine and carbon tetrachloride as precursors. The resulting spherical CN materials have uniform diameters of ca. 4 μm, hierarchical three-dimensional (3-D) mesostructures with small and large mesopores with pore diameters centered at ca. 4.0 and 43 nm, respectively, a relatively high BET surface area of ~550 m2/g, and a pore volume of 0.90 cm3/g. High-resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM) images, wide-angle X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns, and Raman spectra demonstrate that the porous CN material has a partly graphitized structure. In addition, elemental analyses, X-ray photoelectron spectra (XPS), Fourier transform infrared spectra (FT-IR), and CO2 temperature-programmed desorption (CO2-TPD) show that the material has a high nitrogen content (17.8 wt%) with nitrogen-containing groups and abundant basic sites. The hierarchical porous CN spheres have excellent CO2 capture properties with a capacity of 2.90 mmol/g at 25 °C and 0.97 mmol/g at 75 °C, superior to those of the pure carbon materials with analogous mesostructures. This can be mainly attributed to the abundant nitrogen-containing basic groups, hierarchical mesostructure, relatively high BET surface area and stable framework. Furthermore, the presence of a large number of micropores and small mesopores also enhance the CO2 capture performance, owing to the capillary condensation effect.

Graphical Abstract

Publisher

Tsinghua University Press

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