Reaction-Induced Macropore Formation Enabling Commodity Polymer Dervied Carbons for CO2 Capture

Document Type


Publication Date



Polymer Science and Engineering


CO2 capture from industrial point source waste streams represents an important need for achieving the global goal of carbon-neutrality. Compared with conventional liquid sorbents, solid sorbents can exhibit several distinct advantages, including enhanced lifetime and reduced energy consumption for sorbent regeneration. Considering that reducing CO2 emission is a great challenge, reaching approximately 37 billion metric tons just in 2021, ideal sorbent solutions should not only exhibit a high capture performance but also enable large scale manufacturing using low-cost precursors and simple processes. In this work, we demonstrate the use of a commodity polymer, polystyrene-block-polyisoprene-block-polystyrene (SIS), as the starting material for preparing hierarchically porous, sulfur-doped carbons for CO2 capture. Particularly, the sulfonation-crosslinking reaction enables the formation of macropores in the polymer framework due to the release of gaseous byproducts. After carbonization and activation, the highly porous structure of SIS-derived carbons is successfully retained, while their surface area can reach up to 905 m2 g−1. These porous carbon sorbents exhibit excellent CO2 uptake performance, reaching sorption capacities of 3.8 mmol g−1 at 25 °C and 6.0 mmol g−1 at 0 °C, as well as a high selectivity up to 43 : 1 against N2 gas under ambient conditions. Overall, our work provides an industrially viable method for “template-free” fabrication of porous carbons from commodity polyolefin-based materials, which can be employed for reducing CO2 emission from industrial plants/sectors.

Publication Title

New Journal of Chemistry





First Page


Last Page


Find in your library