2012 Student Research Conference:
25th Annual Student Research Conference

Synthesis of Amino Acid Salts for Carbon Dioxide Capture
Allison White *, Megan M. Hoffman, Christina M. Goehl, Lauren M. Ross, and Laura M. Blunk
Dr. Colleen Munro-Leighton, Faculty Mentor

Methods currently used to trap and remove CO2 from industrial emissions are relatively dangerous and inefficient compared with the potential of materials derived from amino acids. Calcium salts of naturally-occuring amino acids with nucleophilic side chains could be used to absorb CO2 and then release it, enabling it to be used in synthetic processes instead of released into the environment. Amino acid esters may be converted to sodium salts and then to calcium salts using common organic chemistry lab techniques. Calcium salts of arginine, methionine, histidine, and ornithine were synthesized and characterized by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) and infrared spectroscopy (IR). The syntheses were optimized to improve yields in anticipation of future industrial application. By determining the amino acid with the highest absorption capacity and learning how side chain variations impact effective CO2 uptake, we can move toward the design of synthetic amino acids specialized for CO2 absorption.

Keywords: Synthesis, Amino Acid, Environmental Chemistry, CO2 Capture


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 310-4
Location: MG 2090
Time: 1:45

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