Primary amines form a key component of a well-studied mechanism for capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. This study comprises a single-step synthesis of a novel sorbent for CO2 by grafting monomers rich in primary amines to three commercial-grade fabrics: polyethylene terephthalate, high-density polyethylene and nylon 6. An initial evaluation of the sorbency of the chosen monomers, allylamine and butenylamine, qualitatively confirmed their ability to extract CO2 from the atmosphere. Six novel copolymers, comprised of each of the three fabrics grafted with one of each monomer, were synthesized using radiation-induced graft copolymerization through electron beam irradiation. All fabrics achieved greater grafting with butenylamine compared to allylamine, likely given the closer proximity of the primary amine to the radical on the latter's structure. Primary amines can stabilize radicals, preventing copolymerization reactions. Characterization of sorbency revealed that the majority of the grafted amines likely reacted to adsorb CO2. Therefore, the amount of amine grafted comprises the primary limiting factor on the sorbents' CO2 capacity.
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Vol. 192 • No. 2