This work employs a combination of density functional theory-infrared (IR), conductor-like screening model for real solvents (COSMO-RS), and molecular dynamic (MD) methods to investigate the impact of hydroxyl functional groups on CO2 capture within dicationic ionic liquids (DILs). The COSMO-RS reveals that hydroxyl groups in DILs reduce the macroscopic solubility of CO2 but improve the selectivity of CO2 over CO, H2, and CH4 gases. Quantum methods in the gas phase and MD simulations in the liquid phase were conducted to delve deeper into the underlying mechanisms. The IR spectrum analysis confirms red shifts in CO2's asymmetric stretching mode and blue shifts in the CR-HR bond of the dication, indicating CO2-DIL interactions and the weakening of the anion-cation interactions caused by the presence of CO2. The results show that the positioning of anions around hydroxyl groups and HR atoms in rings inhibits the proximity of CO2 molecules, causing the hydrogen atoms within methylene groups to accumulate CO2. van der Waals forces were found to dominate the interaction between ions and CO2. The addition of hydroxyl groups strengthens the electrostatic interactions and hydrogen bonds between dications and anions. The stronger interaction energy between ions in [C5(mim)2-(C2)2(OH)2][NTf2]2 limits the displacement of CO2 molecules within this DIL compared to [C5(mim)2-(C4)2][NTf2]2. Compared to [C5(mim)2-(C4)2][NTf2]2, [C5(mim)2-(C2)2(OH)2][NTf2]2 exhibits stronger ion-ion interactions, higher density, and reduced free volume, resulting in a reduction in CO2 capture. These results provide significant insights into the intermolecular interactions and vibrational properties of CO2 in DIL complexes, emphasizing their significance in developing efficient and sustainable strategies for CO2 capture.

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