MSE Seminar: “Selective CO2 Capture (and More!) Using Aluminum Formate – a Cheap, Scalable, and Robust Next-generation Ultramicroporous Adsorbent”

Date(s) - 03/21/2023
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Rhines Hall 125


Hayden Evans, Ph.D.

Research Chemist
NIST Center for Neutron Research

Dr. Hayden Evans obtained his Ph.D. in Chemistry with Ram Seshadri at the University of California Santa Barbara in 2018. In 2019, he joined the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR) in Gaithersburg, MD, as a National Research Council (NRC) Postdoctoral Fellow, until becoming a Research Chemist in 2021. His work uses neutrons, X-rays, as well as other advanced characterization techniques to study materials for gas sequestration and storage and solid-state batteries. Many of his experiments, particularly those for gas storage, examine materials in-situ under working conditions for their application of interest.


Gas separation, the act of sequestering one or more gasses from a mixture of gasses, has vital importance to many areas of society. Important separations include isolating CO2 from combustion sources, purifying O2 from air for medical purposes, or separating short chain hydrocarbons from each other for chemical feedstocks. Recently, coworkers and I have shown that ReO3-type aluminum formate [Al(HCOO)3, ALF] is an inexpensive material capable of excellent CO2 adsorption and outstanding CO2/N2 selectivity at elevated temperatures (323 Kelvin). In our work, we showed that ALF presents one of the most promising materials for tackling the megascale problem of CO2 capture from fossil-fuel exhaust streams, given its high performance above room temperature and aggressively low cost. However, our continued work on this material has uncovered that ALF is capable of much more than just CO2 capture.

In my talk, I will discuss how ALF facilitates difficult gas separations/adsorptions with great efficiency. I will discuss how the structure property relationships of ALF are uniquely well suited to these commercially and industrially relevant adsorption processes, with our findings supported by gas-isotherms, gas breakthrough, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and variable temperature in-situ gas dosing X-ray and neutron powder diffraction.