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RAP opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology     NIST

Carbon (CO2) Capture, Selective Gas Sorbent Materials, and Carbon Sequestration


Material Measurement Laboratory, Materials Measurement Science Division

opportunity location
50.64.31.B7417 Gaithersburg, MD

NIST only participates in the February and August reviews.


name email phone
Andrew J. Allen 301.975.5982
Eric James Cockayne 301.975.4347
Winnie Kwai-Wah Wong-Ng 301.975.5791


Many industrial processes generate carbon dioxide as a by-product, which is released to the atmosphere and contributes to global warming. To address the increasing urgency of mitigating global warming, clean, low-carbon-dioxide emission technologies must be complemented with more aggressive carbon capture technologies, including those for the direct air capture (DAC) of carbon dioxide, and its permanent mineralization or sequestration through appropriate carbonation processes. Development of these technologies is critical to meet U.S. energy and manufacturing needs in an environmentally sustainable manner. Low carbon emission and direct carbon capture technologies depend on transient gas/solid material interactions. Such interactions cannot be inferred from initial or final state materials property measurements such as sorbent microstructure, but must be measured in situ during the sorption or release process. This project focuses on the design, construction, and application of a suite of in situ measurement platforms for use with NIST’s state-of-the-art neutron and synchrotron X-ray scattering facilities [1], capable of interrogating critical carbon capture properties across the range of candidate carbon dioxide sorbent solid materials, as well as candidate materials, both natural and fabricated, for final mineralization or sequestration of carbon dioxide through carbonation. Measurements will focus on in situ determination of changes in structure, microstructure, atomic bonding, and dynamics in sorbent materials during the sorption and release of carbon dioxide under controlled conditions of temperature, pressure, humidity, and atmosphere, or in the case of mineralization as a function of carbonation reaction. Where possible, X-ray or neutron diffraction abd scattering analysis [2] and thermogravimetric analysis will be carried out in situ with samples that are simultaneously undergoing evolved gas analysis. The experimental measurements will be complemented by computer model simulations using available capabilities based on methods such as density functional theory (DFT). [3]

[1] J. Ilavsky, F. Zhang, R.N. Andrews, I. Kuzmenko, P.R. Jemian, L.E. Levine & A.J. Allen;  J. Appl. Cryst., 51, 867-882 (2018). DOI:10.1107/S160057671800643X

[2] W. Wong-Ng, J. Culp, D.W. Siderius, Y. Chen, S.Y.G. Wang, A.J. Allen & E. Cockayne; Polyhedron, 200, art. no. 115132 (2021). DOI:10.1016/j.poly.2021.115132

[3] A.J. Allen, W. Wong-Ng, E. Cockayne, J.T. Culp & C. Matranga; Nanomaterials, 9, art. no. 354 (2019).                      DOI:10.3390/nano9030354


key words
Solid state sorbents; Carbon (CO2) mitigation; Selective gas sorbents; Sustainability; Direct air capture (DAC); Carbon sequestration, mineralization, carbonation; Neutron scattering; Synchrotron X-ray scattering; Materials science; Density functional theory (DFT)


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$82,764.00 $3,000.00
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