We used density functional theory (DFT) calculations with the latest continuum solvation model (SMD/IEF-PCM) to determine the mechanism of CO(2) absorption into aqueous solutions of 2-amino-2-methyl-1-propanol (AMP). Possible absorption process reactions were investigated by transition-state optimization and intrinsic reaction coordinate (IRC) calculations in the aqueous solution at the SMD/IEF-PCM/B3LYP/6-31G(d) and SMD/IEF-PCM/B3LYP/6-311++G(d,p) levels of theory to determine the absorption pathways. We show that the carbamate anion forms by a two-step reaction via a zwitterion intermediate, and this occurs faster than the formation of the bicarbonate anion. However, we also predict that the carbamate readily decomposes by a reverse reaction rather than by hydrolysis. As a result, the final product is dominated by the thermodynamically stable bicarbonate anion that forms from AMP, H(2)O, and CO(2) in a single-step termolecular reaction.
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