Negative emissions of carbon dioxide through chemical-looping combustion (CLC) and gasification (CLG) using oxygen carriers based on manganese and iron
Journal article, 2019
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is an economically attractive strategy for avoiding carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions from, e.g., power plants to the atmosphere. The combination of CCS and biomass combustion would result in a reduction of atmospheric CO 2 , or net negative emissions, as plant growth is a form of sequestration of atmospheric carbon. Carbon capture can be achieved in a variety of ways, one of which is chemical looping. Chemical-looping combustion (CLC) and chemical looping gasification (CLG) are two promising technologies for conversion of biomass to heat and power or syngas/methane with carbon capture. There have been significant advances made with respect to CLC in the last two decades for all types of fuel, with much less research on the gasification technology. CLG offers some interesting opportunities for production of biofuels together with carbon capture and may have several advantages with respect to the bench mark indirect gasification process or dual-bed fluidized bed (DFBG) in this respect. In CLG, an oxygen carrier is used as a bed material instead of sand, which is common in indirect gasification, and this could have several advantages: (i) all generated CO 2 is present together with the syngas or methane in the fuel reactor outlet stream, thus in a concentrated stream, viable for separation and capture; (ii) the air reactor (or combustion chamber) should largely be free from trace impurities, thus preventing corrosion and fouling in this reactor; and (iii) the highly oxidizing conditions in the fuel reactor together with solid oxide surfaces should be advantageous with respect to limiting formation of tar species. In this study, two manganese ores and an iron-based waste material, LD slag, were investigated with respect to performance in these chemical-looping technologies. The materials were also impregnated with alkali (K) in order to gauge possible catalytic effects and also to establish a better understanding of the general behavior of oxygen carriers with alkali, an important component in biomass and biomass waste streams and often a precursor for high-temperature corrosion. The viability of the oxygen carriers was investigated using a synthetic biogas in a batch fluidized bed reactor. The conversion of CO, H 2 , CH 4 , and C 2 H 4 was investigated in the temperature interval 800–950 °C. The reactivity, or oxygen transfer rate, was highest for the manganese ores, followed by the LD slag. The conversion of C 2 H 4 was generally high but could largely be attributed to thermal decomposition. The K-impregnated samples showed enhanced reactivity during combustion conditions, and the Mangagran-K sample was able to achieve full conversion of benzene. The interaction of the solid material with alkali showed widely different behavior. The two manganese ores retained almost all alkali after redox testing, albeit exhibiting different migration patterns inside the particles. LD slag lost most alkali to the gas phase during testing, although some remained, possibly explaining a small difference in reactivity. In summary, the CLC and CLG processes could clearly be interesting for production of heat, power, or biofuel with negative CO 2 emissions. Manganese ores are most promising from this study, as they could absorb alkali, giving a better conversion and perhaps also inhibiting or limiting corrosion mechanisms in a combustor or gasifier.