Research Topic

Perspectives on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Conversion

About this Research Topic

The link between the rise in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere and climate change has been well established by now. Because it is ordinarily emitted in low concentrations, the drive for capture and separation has been low. On one hand, CO2 is a rather oxidized and stable molecule; on the other hand, it is a readily available feedstock that contains atoms found in nearly all organic substances. These two factors pose interesting challenges to scientists for how and why to capture and convert CO2 into valuable chemicals. Although there has been intense research in materials science that has focused on synthesizing new adsorbents that may selectively retain CO2, there is much less information on stable and effective catalysts for CO2 conversion. Additionally, few studies address issues such as process-driven screening tools for the myriad of capture adsorbents being synthesized, or an understanding of CO2 interaction on surfaces and tridimensional porous solids at a molecular level.

Scientists have attempted to overcome the unfavorable CO2 capture conditions found in most emission scenarios by synthesizing highly porous solids with tailored chemistries, in order to increase selectivity toward CO2 with respect to other gases. This has led to an overwhelming number of publications reporting synthesis routes, but often with limited concern for long-term process performance and material stability. The effect of contaminants (such as water, NOx, and SOx) is seldom addressed and the underlying interactions of CO2 with atoms on the adsorbent/catalyst surface are not fully understood on the molecular level.

In practice, retained CO2 may be desorbed, compressed, and transported for further storage and/or reaction. However, captured CO2 in a confined space (such as nanopores) may also find adequate environmental conditions for in situ reactions. According to a recent review published in Frontiers in Chemistry, heterogeneous catalysis for in situ CO2 conversion is still in its infancy and should be a topic of great interest for carbon capture and utilization (CCU) strategies. Hence, the goal of this Research Topic is to showcase how mainstream scientists investigating heterogeneous catalysis and adsorption have been addressing these issues.

To be considered for this collection, manuscripts must focus on innovative aspects related to either capture or conversion of carbon dioxide. We are particularly interested in papers that: (i) provide a rationale for the screening of CO2 capture adsorbents; (ii) correlate long-term separation process performance with respect to CO2 interactions with the solid surface at the molecular level; (iii) report experimental evidence of CO2 conversion into valuable chemicals through heterogeneous catalysis (iv) elucidate the atomic-level phenomena significant for CO2 adsorption and conversion processes. Perspective/Review contributions and Original Research papers on the following themes are welcome:

 • Direct CO2 capture from air and conversion to fuels (DAC to fuels)
 • Multiscale screening of adsorbents for CO2 capture
 • Short-cut experimental methods to assess reaction and mass transfer kinetics related to CO2 adsorption and conversion
 • Statistical and quantum mechanics methods applied to CO2 adsorption and conversion
 • In situ CO2 catalytic conversion
 • Novel catalysts to enhance CO2 reactivity


Keywords: Adsorption, catalysis, CO2, molecular simulation, fuels


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The link between the rise in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere and climate change has been well established by now. Because it is ordinarily emitted in low concentrations, the drive for capture and separation has been low. On one hand, CO2 is a rather oxidized and stable molecule; on the other hand, it is a readily available feedstock that contains atoms found in nearly all organic substances. These two factors pose interesting challenges to scientists for how and why to capture and convert CO2 into valuable chemicals. Although there has been intense research in materials science that has focused on synthesizing new adsorbents that may selectively retain CO2, there is much less information on stable and effective catalysts for CO2 conversion. Additionally, few studies address issues such as process-driven screening tools for the myriad of capture adsorbents being synthesized, or an understanding of CO2 interaction on surfaces and tridimensional porous solids at a molecular level.

Scientists have attempted to overcome the unfavorable CO2 capture conditions found in most emission scenarios by synthesizing highly porous solids with tailored chemistries, in order to increase selectivity toward CO2 with respect to other gases. This has led to an overwhelming number of publications reporting synthesis routes, but often with limited concern for long-term process performance and material stability. The effect of contaminants (such as water, NOx, and SOx) is seldom addressed and the underlying interactions of CO2 with atoms on the adsorbent/catalyst surface are not fully understood on the molecular level.

In practice, retained CO2 may be desorbed, compressed, and transported for further storage and/or reaction. However, captured CO2 in a confined space (such as nanopores) may also find adequate environmental conditions for in situ reactions. According to a recent review published in Frontiers in Chemistry, heterogeneous catalysis for in situ CO2 conversion is still in its infancy and should be a topic of great interest for carbon capture and utilization (CCU) strategies. Hence, the goal of this Research Topic is to showcase how mainstream scientists investigating heterogeneous catalysis and adsorption have been addressing these issues.

To be considered for this collection, manuscripts must focus on innovative aspects related to either capture or conversion of carbon dioxide. We are particularly interested in papers that: (i) provide a rationale for the screening of CO2 capture adsorbents; (ii) correlate long-term separation process performance with respect to CO2 interactions with the solid surface at the molecular level; (iii) report experimental evidence of CO2 conversion into valuable chemicals through heterogeneous catalysis (iv) elucidate the atomic-level phenomena significant for CO2 adsorption and conversion processes. Perspective/Review contributions and Original Research papers on the following themes are welcome:

 • Direct CO2 capture from air and conversion to fuels (DAC to fuels)
 • Multiscale screening of adsorbents for CO2 capture
 • Short-cut experimental methods to assess reaction and mass transfer kinetics related to CO2 adsorption and conversion
 • Statistical and quantum mechanics methods applied to CO2 adsorption and conversion
 • In situ CO2 catalytic conversion
 • Novel catalysts to enhance CO2 reactivity


Keywords: Adsorption, catalysis, CO2, molecular simulation, fuels


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 June 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 June 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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