Development of a General Evaluation Metric for Rapid Screening of Adsorbent Materials for Postcombustion CO2 Capture

Karson T. Leperi, Yongchul G. Chung, Fengqi You*, Randall Q. Snurr

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Molecular simulations are combined with macroscopic pressure swing adsorption (PSA) modeling and process optimization to screen 2900 metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) for their suitability in separating CO2 from N2 under conditions of interest in postcombustion CO2 capture. The hierarchical screening process eliminates MOFs based on metal price, new heuristics based on the internal energy of adsorption, full PSA modeling and optimization, and other factors. Based on PSA modeling of 190 materials, a general evaluation metric (GEM) is developed that can approximately rank the performance of adsorbent materials as defined by the lowest cost for postcombustion CO2 capture. The metric requires only isotherm data and the N2 internal energy of adsorption. The N2 working capacity is the most important component of the metric, followed by the CO2 working capacity, the CO2/N2 selectivity at desorption conditions, and the N2 internal energy of adsorption. Additional analysis shows that the correlation between the cost of CO2 capture and the GEM is better than that of other existing evaluation metrics reported in the literature. For the most promising MOFs, the cost to capture a tonne of CO2 is estimated to be $30-$40 plus the cost of compressing the CO2 product.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11529-11539
Number of pages11
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019


  • Adsorption
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Molecular simulation
  • Multiscale modeling
  • Pressure swing adsorption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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