Carbon Dioxide Sequestration by Triboelectric Charging of Tumbling Quartz Sand

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Mechanical activation (i.e., tumbling) of quartz sand in a carbon dioxide (CO2) atmosphere leads to triboelectric charging of the sand grains, driving a process that ultimately sequesters and removes CO2 from the ambient atmosphere. Supported by diffuse reflectance FTIR and 13C solid-state NMR experiments and density functional theory (DFT) calculations, we propose that CO2 is inserted into the quartz lattice to form an anchored CO3 species, a process that otherwise requires high temperature and pressure to proceed synthetically. The products of the reaction are stable for at least 6 months at ambient temperature and pressure, but CO2 is liberated at temperatures above 150 °C. The prospect of using this method to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and, ultimately, to help mitigate the adverse effects of greenhouse gases and global warming is briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Pages (from-to)12008-12015
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


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