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Capture of carbon dioxide from the air (direct air capture; DAC) combined with energy efficiency and carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) efforts across many technologies have the combined potential to not only reduce, but reverse increasing atmospheric CO2 levels that are implicated in man-made climate change.  

NIST is developing a comprehensive program to address current and future industry needs via development of the critical measurement and metrologies needed for successful DAC deployment and industry innovation.  

The program is across several NIST operating units, with key contacts listed below. Please look on the internal ADLP webpages under 'Collaborative Research Projects' for information on the working group (NIST Direct Air Capture (DAC) - Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) Working Group).

Pamela Chu (MML)

Andrew Allen (MML)

Dan Neumann (NCNR)

Craig Brown (NCNR)





  • To advance US competitiveness in Direct Air Capture (DAC) and Carbon Capture, Usage, and Sequestration (CCUS)
  • Use advanced neutron scattering techniques to understand the adsorption process for the most promising materials for adsorption-based carbon capture and provide avenues to optimization for a given technology 
  • Investigate mineralization and carbonation processes and subsequently processed building materials through multi-length-scale neutron probes
  • Use state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques to identify potential material compositions to perform optimally for a given technology
  • Work across NIST OU's to characterize and develop 'research grade' materials with a known performance benchmark
  • Ultimately, contribute to cost-effectively diminishing industrial CO2 emissions and empowering industrialization of DAC and net-negative CO2 solutions.


Important reports: 

  • National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2019). Negative Emissions Technologies and Reliable Sequestration: A Research Agenda. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi:10.17226/25259 


Major Accomplishments

NIST Colloquium Series

  1. Klaus Lackner, (Professor, Senior Global Futures Scientist, ASU)
  2. Jennifer Wilcox, (Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, DOE) (video)

External discussions 

with: D. Hancu (NETL- DOE); T. McDonald (Mosaic Materials); P. Llewellyn (TotalEnergies);

additionally with: Alissa Park (Columbia University), Dan Zhao (U. Singapore), Christopher Jones (Georgia Tech.), Climeworks, Travis Johnson (ASU)

Take-away messages: 

  1. Lack of good techniques/procedures in the community
  2. Need at least one ‘well understood’ material (PEI loaded oxides; MOF, … ) standard recipe; attrition rates, lifetime, decomposition mechanisms, …
  3. Must include H2O and O2; consider atmospheric ‘impurities’ later
  4. Differentiate between bulk and engineered contactor
  5. Need enthalpies; kinetics for uptakes; thermodynamics for desorption
  6. Need to understand material lifetime, loss of capacity



  1. Understanding the Impacts of Support−Polymer Interactions on the Dynamics of Poly(ethyleneimine) Confined in Mesoporous SBA-15H.J. Moon, J.-M. Carrillo, J. Leisen, B.G. Sumpter, N.C. Osti, M. Tyagi, C.W. Jones, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 144, 11664 (2022).
  2.  Two-Dimensional Covalent Organic Frameworks with Cobalt(II)-
    Phthalocyanine Sites for Efficient Electrocatalytic Carbon Dioxide
    B. Han, Y. Jin, B. Chen, W. Zhou, B. Yu, C. Wei, H. Wang, K. Wang, Y. Chen, B. Chen, J. Jiang, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 61, e202114244 (2022).

  3. Maximizing Electroactive Sites in a Three-Dimensional Covalent Organic Framework for Significantly Improved Carbon Dioxide Reduction ElectrocatalysisB. Han, X. Ding, B. Yu, H. Wu, W. Zhou, W. Liu, C. Wei, B. Chen, D. Qi, H. Wang, K. Wang, Y. Chen, B. Chen, and J. Jiang, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 143, 7104–7113 (2021).


  1. Elevated temperature CO2 capture using a formate-based material (Fundamentals of Adsorption, 14th International Conference, 2022, Bloomfield, CO)
  2. NIST's role in Direct Air Capture and CCUS (Fundamentals of Adsorption, 14th International Conference, 2022, Bloomfield, CO)
  3. NIST's Role in Direct Air Capture and Carbon Removal (2021 NETL Carbon management and oil and gas research project review meeting - carbon dioxide removal research)

New metrologies and capabilities

  1. INFER

Previous efforts:

Reversible switching between nonporous and porous phases of a new SIFSIX coordination network induced by a flexible linker ligand, B.-Q. Song, Q.-Y. Yang, S.-Q. Wang, M. Vandichel, M. Vandichel, A. Kumar, C. M. Crowley, N. Kumar, C.-H. Deng, V. GasconPerez, M. Lusi, H. Wu, W. Zhou, M. J. Zaworotko, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 142, 6896−6901 (2020).

A microporous aluminum-based metal-organic framework for high methane, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide storage, B Wang, X Zhang, H Huang, Z Zhang, T Yildirim, W Zhou, S Xiang, ... Nano Research, 1-5  (2020).

Neutron diffraction structural study of CO2 binding in mixed-metal CPM-200 metal–organic frameworks AJ Campanella, BA Trump, EJ Gosselin, ED Bloch, CM Brown Chemical Communications 56 (17), 2574-2577 (2020).!divAbstract

Understanding How Ligand Functionalization Influences CO2 and N2 Adsorption in a Sodalite Metal–Organic Framework M Asgari, R Semino, PA Schouwink, I Kochetygov, J Tarver, O Trukhina, ... Chemistry of Materials 32 (4), 1526-1536 (2020).

A metal–organic framework with suitable pore size and dual functionalities for highly efficient post-combustion CO2 capture, H.-M. Wen, C. Liao, L. Li, A. Alsalme, Z. Alothman, R. Krishna, H. Wu, W. Zhou, J. Hu, B. Chen, J. Mater. Chem. A, 7, 3128–3134 (2019).

Controlling pore shape and size of interpenetrated anion-pillared ultramicroporous materials enables molecular sieving of CO2 combined with ultrahigh uptake capacity, M. Jiang, B. Li, X. Cui, Q. Yang, Z. Bao, Y. Yang, H. Wu, W. Zhou, B. Chen, H. Xing, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 10, 16628–16635 (2018).

An experimental and computational study of CO2 adsorption in the sodalite-type M-BTT (M= Cr, Mn, Fe, Cu) metal–organic frameworks featuring open metal sites M Asgari, S Jawahery, ED Bloch, MR Hudson, R Flacau, B Vlaisavljevich, ...Chemical science 9 (20), 4579-4588 (2018).

A microporous hydrogen-bonded organic framework with amine sites for selective recognition of small molecules, H. Wang, H. Wu, J. Kan, G. Chang, Z. Yao, B. Li, W. Zhou, S. Xiang, J. C.-G. Zhao, B. Chen, J. Mater. Chem. A, 5, 8292-8296 (2017).

Highly enhanced gas uptake and selectivity via incorporating methoxy groups into a microporous metal–organic framework, H.-M. Wen, G. Chang, B. Li, R.-B. Lin, T.-L. Hu, W. Zhou, B. Chen, Crystal Growth Des., 17, 2172–2177 (2017).

Design of hyperporous graphene networks and their application in solid-amine based carbon capture systems, S Gadipelli, Y Lu, NT Skipper, T Yildirim, Z Guo Journal of Materials Chemistry A 5 (34), 17833-17840 (2017).

On the Structure–Property Relationships of Cation‐Exchanged ZK‐5 Zeolites for CO2 Adsorption TD Pham, MR Hudson, CM Brown, RF Lobo ChemSusChem 10 (5), 946-957 (2017).

Performance of van der Waals Corrected Functionals for Guest Adsorption in the M2(dobdc) Metal–Organic Frameworks B Vlaisavljevich, J Huck, Z Hulvey, K Lee, JA Mason, JB Neaton, JR Long, ... The Journal of Physical Chemistry A 121 (21), 4139-4151 (2017).

Graphene oxide-derived porous materials for hydrogen/methane storage and carbon capture S Gadipelli, T Yildirim, Z Guo, Graphene Science Handbook: Size-Dependent Properties (2016).

From Fundamental Understanding To Predicting New Nanomaterials For High Capacity Hydrogen/Methane Storage and Carbon Capture (Technical Report) | OSTI.GOV.

Flexible metal-organic framework compounds: In situ studies for selective CO2 capture AJ Allen, L Espinal, W Wong-Ng, WL Queen, CM Brown, SR Kline, ... Journal of Alloys and Compounds 647, 24-34 (2015).

Understanding Small‐Molecule Interactions in Metal–Organic Frameworks: Coupling Experiment with "A Flexible Microporous Hydrogen-Bonded Organic Framework for Gas Sorption and Separation, H. Wang, B. Li, H. Wu, T.-L. Hu, Z. Yao, W. Zhou, S. Xiang, B. Chen, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 137, 9963–9970 (2015).

Understanding Small‐Molecule Interactions in Metal–Organic Frameworks: Coupling Experiment with Theory JS Lee, B Vlaisavljevich, DK Britt, CM Brown, M Haranczyk, JB Neaton, ... Advanced Materials 27 (38), 5785-5796 (2015)

Water‐Stable Zirconium‐Based Metal–Organic Framework Material with High‐Surface Area and Gas‐Storage Capacities, OV Gutov, W Bury, DA Gomez‐Gualdron, V Krungleviciute, ... Chemistry–A European Journal 20 (39), 12389-12393  (2014).

Exceptional CO2 capture in a hierarchically porous carbon with simultaneous high surface area and pore volume, G Srinivas, V Krungleviciute, ZX Guo, T Yildirim Energy & Environmental Science 7 (1), 335-342 (2014).

Comprehensive study of carbon dioxide adsorption in the metal–organic frameworks M2 (dobdc)(M= Mg, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn) WL Queen, MR Hudson, ED Bloch, JA Mason, MI Gonzalez, JS Lee, ... Chemical Science 5 (12), 4569-4581 (2014).!divAbstract

Molecular basis for the high CO2 adsorption capacity of chabazite zeolites TD Pham, MR Hudson, CM Brown, RF Lobo ChemSusChem 7 (11), 3031-3038 (2014).

Evaluation of cation-exchanged zeolite adsorbents for post-combustion carbon dioxide capture TH Bae, MR Hudson, JA Mason, WL Queen, JJ Dutton, K Sumida, ... Energy & Environmental Science 6 (1), 128-138 (2013).

Gram-scale, high-yield synthesis of a robust metal–organic framework for storing methane and other gases, CE Wilmer, OK Farha, T Yildirim, I Eryazici, V Krungleviciute, AA Sarjeant, ... Energy & Environmental Science 6 (4), 1158-1163  (2013).

Unusual and highly tunable missing-linker defects in zirconium metal–organic framework UiO-66 and their important effects on gas adsorption. H Wu, YS Chua, V Krungleviciute, M Tyagi, P Chen, T Yildirim, W Zhou Journal of the American Chemical Society 135 (28), 10525-10532  (2013).

Graphene oxide derived carbons (GODCs): synthesis and gas adsorption properties, G Srinivas, J Burress, T Yildirim, Energy & Environmental Science 5 (4), 6453-6459 (2012).

Unconventional, Highly Selective CO2 Adsorption in Zeolite SSZ-13 MR Hudson, WL Queen, JA Mason, DW Fickel, RF Lobo, CM Brown Journal of the American chemical society 134 (4), 1970-1973 (2012).

Microporous metal-organic framework with potential for carbon dioxide capture at ambient conditions, S. Xiang, Y. He, Z. Zhang, H. Wu, W. Zhou, R. Krishna, B. Chen, Nat. Commun., 3, 954 (2012).

Carbon capture in metal–organic frameworks—a comparative study, JM Simmons, H Wu, W Zhou, T Yildirim Energy & Environmental Science 4 (6), 2177-2185 (2011).

Site-Specific CO2 Adsorption and Zero Thermal Expansion in an Anisotropic Pore Network WL Queen, CM Brown, DK Britt, P Zajdel, MR Hudson, OM Yaghi The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 115 (50), 24915-24919 (2011)

Adsorption Sites and Binding Nature of CO2 in Prototypical Metal−Organic Frameworks: A Combined Neutron Diffraction and First-Principles Study, H Wu, JM Simmons, G Srinivas, W Zhou, T Yildirim The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 1 (13), 1946-1951 (2010).

Hydrogen storage and carbon dioxide capture in an iron-based sodalite-type metal–organic framework (Fe-BTT) discovered via high-throughput methods K Sumida, S Horike, SS Kaye, ZR Herm, WL Queen, CM Brown, ... Chemical Science 1 (2), 184-191 (2010).


Created March 9, 2021, Updated August 25, 2022