Photo‐modulating CO2 uptake of hypercrosslinked polymers upcycled from polystyrene waste

Liu, Aotian and Mollart, Catherine and Trewin, Abbie and Fan, Xianfeng and Lau, Cher Hon (2023) Photo‐modulating CO2 uptake of hypercrosslinked polymers upcycled from polystyrene waste. ChemSusChem: e202300019. ISSN 1864-5631

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Incorporating photo-switches into pores of microporous materials yield photo-responsive materials for low-energy CO2capture. However, such approaches reduce CO2 uptake of these materials. Here we overcome this limitation by exploiting trans-cis photoisomerization of azobenzene located in the pores of a hypercrosslinked polymer (HCP) derived from waste polystyrene to enhance CO2 uptake by 22 % when compared to pristine HCPs, reaching 56.9 cm3 g-1. Computational simulations show that this increase in CO2 uptake is due to photo-modulated pore widening effect and a positive dipole moment that enhanced CO2-azobenzene interactions. Vis-irradiating cis-HCPs@Azo reverted CO2 uptake to 33 cm3 g-1, like pristine HCP@Azo. This was attributed to a lack of a dipole moment and larger trans-azobenzene molecules reducing CO2 uptake in the smaller pores of trans-HCPs@Azo. This work shows the feasibility of recycling polystyrene waste into advanced materials for low-energy CO2 capture.

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Journal Article
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?? hypercrosslinked polymergas adsorptionphoto-responsive polymerplastic recyclingenergy(all)environmental chemistrymaterials science(all)chemical engineering(all) ??
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24 Feb 2023 14:20
Last Modified:
16 May 2024 02:45