CO2 chemical absorption and regeneration processes in aqueous amine solutions were investigated using density-functional tight-binding molecular dynamics simulations. Extensive analyses of the structural, electronic, and dynamical properties of 100 independent trajectories supported the contrasting mechanisms in the absorption and regeneration processes. In the CO2 absorption process, bicarbonate formed where the hydroxyl anion migrated through the hydrogen-bond network of water molecules, namely, by a Grotthuss-type mechanism. On the other hand, direct proton transfer from the protonated amine to the hydroxyl group of bicarbonate, which is called the ion-pair mechanism, was the key step to the release of CO2.
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