Avoiding CO2 capture effort and cost for negative CO2 emissions using industrial waste in chemical-looping combustion/gasification of biomass
Journal article, 2020

Chemical-looping combustion (CLC) is a combustion process with inherent separation of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is achieved by oxidizing the fuel with a solid oxygen carrier rather than with air. As fuel and combustion air are never mixed, no gas separation is necessary and, consequently, there is no direct cost or energy penalty for the separation of gases. The most common form of design of chemical-looping combustion systems uses circulating fluidized beds, which is an established and widely spread technology. Experiments were conducted in two different laboratory-scale CLC reactors with continuous fuel feeding and nominal fuel inputs of 300 Wth and 10 kWth, respectively. As an oxygen carrier material, ground steel converter slag from the Linz–Donawitz process was used. This material is the second largest flow in an integrated steel mill and it is available in huge quantities, for which there is currently limited demand. Steel converter slag consists mainly of oxides of calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), iron (Fe), silicon (Si), and manganese (Mn). In the 300 W unit, chemical-looping combustion experiments were conducted with model fuels syngas (50 vol% hydrogen (H2) in carbon monoxide (CO)) and methane (CH4) at varied reactor temperature, fuel input, and oxygen-carrier circulation. Further, the ability of the oxygen-carrier material to release oxygen to the gas phase was investigated. In the 10 kW unit, the fuels used for combustion tests were steam-exploded pellets and wood char. The purpose of these experiments was to study more realistic biomass fuels and to assess the lifetime of the slag when employed as oxygen carrier. In addition, chemical-looping gasification was investigated in the 10 kW unit using both steam-exploded pellets and regular wood pellets as fuels. In the 300 W unit, up to 99.9% of syngas conversion was achieved at 280 kg/MWth and 900 °C, while the highest conversion achieved with methane was 60% at 280 kg/MWth and 950 °C. The material’s ability to release oxygen to the gas phase, i.e., CLOU property, was developed during the initial hours with fuel operation and the activated material released 1–2 vol% of O2 into a flow of argon between 850 and 950 °C. The material’s initial low density decreased somewhat during CLC operation. In the 10 kW, CO2 yields of 75–82% were achieved with all three fuels tested in CLC conditions, while carbon leakage was very low in most cases, i.e., below 1%. With wood char as fuel, at a fuel input of 1.8 kWth, a CO2 yield of 92% could be achieved. The carbon fraction of C2-species was usually below 2.5% and no C3-species were detected. During chemical-looping gasification investigation a raw gas was produced that contained mostly H2. The oxygen carrier lifetime was estimated to be about 110–170 h. However, due to its high availability and potentially low cost, this type of slag could be suitable for large-scale operation. The study also includes a discussion on the potential advantages of this technology over other technologies available for Bio-Energy Carbon Capture and Storage, BECCS. Furthermore, the paper calls for the use of adequate policy instruments to foster the development of this kind of technologies, with great potential for cost reduction but presently without commercial application because of lack of incentives.

Negative CO2 emissions

Bio-energy carbon capture and storage (BECCS)

Fluidized bed combustion

Chemical-looping gasification (CLG)


Steel converter slag (LD slag)

Chemical-looping combustion (CLC)


Patrick Moldenhauer

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology, Energy Technology 2

Carl Johan Linderholm

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

Magnus Rydén

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

Anders Lyngfelt

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Energy Technology

Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change

1381-2386 (ISSN) 1573-1596 (eISSN)

Vol. 25 1

Chemical-looping gasification (CLG) of biomass for fuel production

Swedish Energy Agency, 2017-01-01 -- 2019-12-31.

OxyCar-FBC, Oxygen Carriers in Fluidized Bed Combustion of Biomass

Swedish Energy Agency, 2017-02-01 -- 2020-01-31.

Subject Categories

Mineral and Mine Engineering

Inorganic Chemistry

Energy Engineering

Chemical Process Engineering

Energy Systems

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance




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