Project Summary

Current commercial oxygen production systems have relatively high-energy demands and, as such, represent a significant parasitic load when integrated with either Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) or Oxy Fuel Combustion.

This study sought to test the chemical looping concept to deliver integrated high purity oxygen production at low energy and high throughput, based on their recent breakthrough work on air separation based chemical looping.

The study delivered results from laboratory and pilot scale experimental trials, in addition to a preliminary assessment of techno-economic feasibility for the technology.

The study showed:

  • That chemical looping air separation is a viable technique for the production of industrial scale oxygen.
  • Suitable copper oxide species were demonstrated as oxygen carriers and enhanced material could be delivered from additional research.
  • A spray drying technique for the production of high quality metal oxides proved very effective.
  • Scale-up rules for chemical looping air separation were determined from data collected in a 10kWth facility.
  • Detailed assessments of scaling parameters for the reduction reactor were carried out by a combined set of theoretical analyses and mathematical modelling.

While suggesting a positive potential for the technology in the report, several techno-economic variables require additional data to ensure that a more accurate and up-to-date assessment is possible.

Consistent with most other low emissions technologies, the study suggests carbon pricing is necessary before such processes can become economically viable.

Available Reports

Chemical Looping Oxygen Generation for Oxy-fuel Combustion

Oxygen separation is a high cost component of oxy-fuel combustion systems. This project assesses the viability of introducing novel chemical looping systems in oxy-fuel combustion. These systems can be retrofitted into existing coal-fired power plants.  The report outlines the project’s methodology and the results of the design, construction and testing of a pilot-scale prototype chemical looping reactor. It concludes that these systems are technically viable, and may become economically competitive in specific conditions of low-cost natural gas and/or when a sufficiently high electricity wholesale prices occur e.g. under a carbon price regime.

Project Name:
Chemical Looping Oxygen Generation for Oxy-fuel Combustion and Gasification

Research Organisation:
The University of Newcastle

Completed, 2015

Prof. Behdad Moghtaderi, Prof Terry Wall, Dr Elham Doroodchi, Dr Kalpit Shah, Dr Cheng Zhou, Dr Hui Song


Research Program: Oxyfuel
Demonstration: Callide Oxyfuel
Research Focus: Oxyfuel

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