New low-cost CO.sub.2 sorbents are provided that can be used in large-scale gas-solid processes. A new method is provided for making these sorbents that involves treating substrates with an amine and/or an ether so that the amine and/or ether comprise at least 50 wt. percent of the sorbent. The sorbent acts by capturing compounds contained in gaseous fluids via chemisorption and/or physisorption between the unit layers of the substrate's lattice where the polar amine liquids and solids and/or polar ether liquids and solids are located. The method eliminates the need for high surface area supports and polymeric materials for the preparation of CO.sub.2 capture systems, and provides sorbents with absorption capabilities that are independent of the sorbents' surface areas. The sorbents can be regenerated by heating at temperatures in excess of 35.degree. C.