Investigation of Different Mn–Fe Oxides as Oxygen Carrier for Chemical-Looping with Oxygen Uncoupling (CLOU)
Journal article, 2013
The appropriate oxygen carrier for chemical-looping with oxygen uncoupling (CLOU) should be thermodynamically capable of being oxidized in the air reactor and also release gaseous O2 in the fuel reactor at appropriate temperatures and oxygen partial pressures. It should also be mechanically durable, cheap, and environmentally friendly. Iron–manganese oxides appear to be especially promising due to favorable thermodynamics. In this work, combined metal oxides of iron and manganese were investigated for the CLOU process. Particles with different ratios of Mn/Fe were produced using spray drying. The particles were calcined at 950 and 1100 °C for 4 h and then tested with respect to parameters important for CLOU. The crushing strength for these materials was between 0.1 to 1.7 N, depending on their composition and sintering temperature. The ability of the iron–manganese oxide particles to release oxygen in the gas phase was examined by decomposition of the material in a stream of N2. Moreover, the reaction with both methane and synthesis gas (50/50% CO/H2) was examined in a batch fluidized bed reactor. Here, the particles were alternately oxidized with 5% O2 and reduced in N2 or with fuel at 850 °C, 900 and 950 °C. From the results, it can be concluded that during the nitrogen period, the oxygen carriers with Mn3O4 content in the range from 20 wt % to 40 wt % release oxygen at 900 °C, whereas the materials with higher manganese content show no oxygen release. This is because they could not be oxidized to bixbyite. By decreasing the temperature from 900 to 850 °C, it was possible to oxidize oxygen carriers with manganese oxide content of 50 wt % and higher, and consequently, oxygen release during the nitrogen period was seen for these materials. This is in agreement with the phase diagram for this system. The reaction rate with methane follows the oxygen release trend very well. At the higher reaction temperature, 950 °C, oxygen carriers with manganese content in the range from 25% to 33% show the best gas conversion of methane. At 850 °C, on the other hand, high methane conversion is seen for particles with high manganese content. In fact, several particles had almost full conversion of methane to CO2 and H2O at 850 °C using a bed mass in the batch reactor corresponding to 70 kg oxygen carrier/MW.