The use of iron oxide as oxygen carrier in a chemical-looping reactor
Journal article, 2007
Chemical-looping combustion (CLC) is a method for the combustion of fuel gas with inherent separation of carbon dioxide. This technique involves the use of two interconnected reactors, an air reactor and a fuel reactor. The oxygen demanded in the fuel combustion is supplied by a solid oxygen carrier, which circulates between both reactors. Fuel gas and air are never mixed and pure CO2 can be obtained from the flue gas exit. This paper presents the results from the use of an iron-based oxygen-carrier in a continuously operating laboratory CLC unit, consisting of two interconnected fluidized beds. Natural gas or syngas was used as fuel, and the thermal power was between 100 and 300 W. Tests were performed at four temperatures: 1073, 1123, 1173 and 1223 K. The prototype was successfully operated for all tests and stable conditions were maintained during the combustion. The same particles were used during 60 h of hot fluidization conditions, whereof 40 h with combustion. The combustion efficiency of syngas was high, about 99% for all experimental conditions. However, in the combustion tests with natural gas, there was unconverted methane in the exit flue gases. Higher temperature and lower fuel flows increase the combustion efficiency, which ranged between 70% and 94% at 1123 K. No signs of agglomeration or mass loss were detected, and the crushing strength of the oxygen carrier particles did not change significantly. Complementary experiments in a batch fluidized bed were made to compare the reactivity of the oxygen carrier particles before and after the 40 h of operation, but the reactivity of the particles was not affected significantly.
Continuous CLC reactor