Cueto-Díaz, E.J.; Castro-Muñiz, A.; Suárez-García, F.; Gálvez-Martínez, S.; Torquemada-Vico, M.C.; Valles-González, M.P.; Mateo-Martí, E. APTES-Based Silica Nanoparticles as a Potential Modifier for the Selective Sequestration of CO2 Gas Molecules. Nanomaterials 2021, 11, 2893. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11112893
In this work, we have described the characterization of hybrid silica nanoparticles of 50 nm size, showing outstanding size homogeneity, a large surface area, and remarkable CO2 sorption/desorption capabilities. A wide battery of techniques was conducted ranging from spectroscopies such as: UV-Vis and IR, to microscopies (SEM, AFM) and CO2 sorption/desorption isotherms, thus with the purpose of the full characterization of the material. The bare SiO2 (50 nm) nanoparticles modified with 3-aminopropyl (triethoxysilane), APTES@SiO2 (50 nm), show a remarkable CO2 sequestration enhancement compared to the pristine material (0.57 vs. 0.80 mmol/g respectively at 50 °C). Furthermore, when comparing them to their 200 nm size counterparts (SiO2 (200 nm) and APTES@SiO2 (200 nm)), there is a marked CO2 capture increment as a consequence of their significantly larger micropore volume (0.25 cm3/g). Additionally, ideal absorbed solution theory (IAST) was conducted to determine the CO2/N2 selectivity at 25 and 50 °C of the four materials of study, which turned out to be >70, being in the range of performance of the most efficient microporous materials reported to date, even surpassing those based on silica.