Development of sorbent materials for direct air capture of CO2

Xiaoyang SHI, Yuanchunyu LIN, Xi CHEN

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Building a carbon–neutral world requires the removal of excess CO2 that has already been dumped into the atmosphere. The technologies have been well established to remove carbon dioxide directly from ambient air, or “direct air capture” (DAC). DAC is still in its infancy, with many challenges remaining. Sorbents are central to the capture of CO2 from ambient air. Many sorbents have been reported to take up CO2, but they all have advantages and disadvantages. Recent advances in material synthesis and surface chemistry have resulted in new generations of CO2 sorbents. Development needs to progress quickly, because global warming will not wait. We summarize recent progress on designed sorbents for CO2 capture from ambient air. There are mainly six typical technologies for DAC, including physical sorption, sorption by strong bases, sorption by amine-modified materials, sorption by aqueous amino acid solution followed by precipitation with a guanidine compound, moisture-swing sorption, and electrochemical-swing sorption. Existing research works have put forward future perspectives and directions of sorbent materials for DAC technologies. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.] © 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive License to the Materials Research Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-415
Number of pages10
JournalMRS Bulletin
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This work is supported from the Earth Engineering Center and Center for Advanced Materials for Energy and Environment, Columbia University.


  • Carbon management
  • Climate change
  • CO2 capture
  • Direct air capture
  • Global warming
  • Negative mission
  • Sorbent


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