Since the emission of CO2 from human activities is considered as the primary reason for global warming, it is crucial to minimize its release to or capture it from the atmosphere. A key solution is the development of technologies for efficient CO2 capture. The utilization of inexpensive and abundant clay materials for CO2 capture is a promising strategy [1-2]. To enhance the binding capacities, the main challenge is to understand the fundamental mechanisms for CO2 binding and also the dependence on physiochemical parameters.
Your research objective will be to understand the interactions between clay particles and CO2/water molecules. A first goal would be to make clay substrates suited for quantitatively assessing the capture or release of water molecules from the atmosphere. You will use a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) to study this. A second step will be to study the binding of CO2 molecules as a function of clay loading, ambient water content and/or temperature. Depending on you expertise and/or interest, you can utilize a confocal Raman microscope to localize the adsorbents across the clay substrates and perform the required analysis by image analysis software (Matlab).
Apart from the standard learning objectives for a bachelor’s project (research planning, academic writing, data presenting, how to work in a lab environment, etc.), you will:
· Obtain knowledge on (the field of) CO2 capture at the mesoscale;
· Learn how to fabricate the clay substrates;
· Learn how to use a quartz crystal microbalance;
· Depending on your interests, learn how to generate Raman maps with Matlab scripts.
· Prof. Dr. Frieder Mugele, firstname.lastname@example.org
· Dr. Igor Siretanu, email@example.com
· Dr. Ashit Rao, firstname.lastname@example.org
 Chouikhi, N., Cecilia, J.A., Vilarrasa-García, E., Besghaier, S., Chlendi, M., Franco Duro, F.I., Rodriguez Castellon, E. and Bagane, M., 2019. CO2 Adsorption of Materials Synthesized from Clay Minerals: A Review. Minerals, 9(9), p.514.
 Michels L, Fossum JO, Rozynek Z, Hemmen H, Rustenberg K, Sobas PA, Kalantzopoulos GN, Knudsen KD, Janek M, Plivelic TS, da Silva GJ. Intercalation and retention of carbon dioxide in a smectite clay promoted by interlayer cations. Scientific reports. 2015 Mar 5;5(1):1-9.