Masters Theses

Orcid ID

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biosystems Engineering

Major Professor

Nour Abdoulmoumine

Committee Members

Nicole Labbe, Nour Abdoulmoumine, Julie Carrier


Adsorption is a promising carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology with porous solids like activated biochar (AB), graphene oxides (GO), and metal-organic frameworks (MOF) exhibiting different advantages related to separating carbon dioxide (CO2) from gas mixtures. Accordingly, the synthesis of MOF/GO composites demonstrates synergism between CO2 adsorption-driving physicochemical characteristics of MOFs and GOs. However, the synthesis of MOF/AB composites has not been explored in the literature to date even though AB shares many physical and chemical similarities with GO. This research project aimed to synthesize MOF/AB composites with appropriate physicochemical characteristics and CO2 adsorption capacities for adsorbing CO2 from flue gas and other important industrial gas mixtures using AB derived from lignocellulosic biomass. Biochars were created by pyrolyzing hybrid poplar, loblolly pine, and switchgrass through intermediate pyrolysis at 500°C and used to adsorb CO2 from a nitrogen gas (N2) and CO2 gas mixture. ABs were developed by activating loblolly pine biochar using potassium hydroxide (KOH) through KOH activation at 800°C and used to adsorb CO2 from a N2 and CO2 gas mixture. MOF/AB composites were synthesized by growing magnesium-metal-organic framework-74 (Mg-MOF-74) crystals on loblolly pine AB through solvothermal synthesis at 125°C and used to adsorb CO2 from a N2 and CO2 gas mixture. All biochars had low CO2 adsorption capacities ranging from 0.17-0.18 mmol/g which was associated with biochars having low specific surface areas, total pore volumes, and alkalinities. Loblolly pine AB had an increased CO2 adsorption capacity of 0.51 mmol/g compared to 0.18 mmol/g for loblolly pine biochar which was assumed to be connected to loblolly pine AB having a higher specific surface area, total pore volume, and alkalinity and lower average pore width than those of loblolly pine biochar. Mg-MOF-74/loblolly pine AB composites had a higher CO2 adsorption capacity of 0.59 mmol/g relative to 0.51 mmol/g for loblolly pine AB which was assumed to correspond to Mg-MOF-74/loblolly pine AB composites having a higher amount of micropores than that of loblolly pine AB. Future work will investigate different MOF synthesis methodologies and surface functionalization of MOF/AB composites to improve CO2 adsorption.

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