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Chemphyschem. 2011 Apr 18;12(6):1088-99. doi: 10.1002/cphc.201001056. Epub 2011 Apr 5.

An FTIR spectroscopic study on the effect of molecular structural variations on the CO2 absorption characteristics of heterocyclic amines.

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Coal Technology Portfolio, CSIRO Energy Technology, Newcastle, NSW 2300, Australia.


Herein, the reaction between CO(2) and piperidine, as well as commercially available functionalised piperidine derivatives, for example, those with methyl-, hydroxyl- and hydroxyalkyl substituents, has been investigated. The chemical reactions between CO(2) and the functionalised piperidines were followed in situ by using attenuated total reflectance (ATR) FTIR spectroscopy. The effect of structural variations on CO(2) absorption was assessed in relation to the ionic reaction products identifiable by IR spectroscopy, that is, carbamate versus bicarbonate absorbance, CO(2) absorption capacity and the mass-transfer coefficient at zero loading. On absorption of CO(2) , the formation of the carbamate derivatives of the 3- and 4-hydroxyl-, 3- and 4-hydroxymethyl-, and 4-hydroxyethyl-substituted piperidines were found to be kinetically less favourable than the carbamate derivatives of piperidine and the 3- and 4-methyl-substituted piperidines. As the CO(2) loading of piperidine and the 3- and 4-methyl- and hydroxyalkyl-substituted piperidines exceeded 0.5 moles of CO(2) per mole of amine, the hydrolysis of the carbamate derivative of these amines was observed in the IR spectra collected. From the subset of amines analysed, the 2-alkyl- and 2-hydroxyalkyl-substituted piperidines were found to favour bicarbonate formation in the reaction with CO(2) . Based on IR spectral data, the ability of these amines to form the carbamate derivatives was also established. Computational calculations at the B3LYP/6-31+G** and MP2/6-31+G** levels of theory were also performed to investigate the electronic/steric effects of the substituents on the reactivity (CO(2) capture performance) of different amines, as well as their carbamate structures. The theoretical results obtained for the 2-alkyl- and 2-hydroxyalkyl-substituted piperidines suggest that a combination of both the electronic effect exerted by the substituent and a reduction in the exposed area of the nitrogen atom play a role in destabilising the carbamate derivative and increasing its susceptibility to hydrolysis. A theoretical investigation into the structure of the carbamate derivatives of these amines revealed shorter NC bond lengths and a less-delocalised electron distribution in the carboxylate moiety.

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