Scalable Jet-Based Fabrication of PEI-Hydrogel Particles for CO2 Capture

Jieke Jiang*, Eline van Daatselaar, Hylke Wijnja, Tessa de Koning Gans, Michel Schellevis, Cornelis H. Venner, Derk W.F. Brilman*, Claas Willem Visser*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The capture, regeneration, and conversion of CO2 from ambient air and flue gas streams are critical aspects of mitigating global warming. Solid sorbents for CO2 absorption are very promising as they have high mass transfer areas without energy input and reduce emissions and minimize corrosion as compared to liquid sorbents. However, precisely tunable solid CO2 sorbents are difficult to produce. Here, we demonstrate the high-throughput production of hydrogel-based CO2-absorbing particles via liquid jetting. By wrapping a liquid jet consisting of an aqueous solution of cross-linkable branched polyethylenimine (PEI) with a layer of suspension containing hydrophobic silica nanoparticles, monodisperse droplets with a silica nanoparticle coating layer was formed in the air. A stable Pickering emulsion containing PEI droplets was obtained after these ejected droplets were collected in a heated oil bath. The droplets turn into mm-sized particles after thermal curing in the bath. The diameter, PEI content, and silica content of the particles were systematically varied, and their CO2 absorption was measured as a function of time. Steam regeneration of the particles enabled cyclic testing, revealing a CO2 absorption capacity of 6.5 ± 0.5 mol kg−1 solid PEI in pure CO2 environments and 0.7 ± 0.3 mol kg−1 solid PEI for direct air capture. Several thousands of particles were produced per second at a rate of around 0.5 kg per hour, with a single nozzle. This process can be further scaled by parallelization. The complete toolbox for the design, fabrication, testing, and regeneration of functional hydrogel particles provides a powerful route toward novel solid sorbents for regenerative CO2 capture.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12748
JournalEnergy and Environmental Materials
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 13 May 2024


  • CO capture
  • droplet
  • hydrogel
  • liquid jet
  • particle
  • steam regeneration


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