Chemical looping reforming from methane to syngas: investigation on CeO2 oxygen carrier lifetime and optimal process times

Storione, Alba (2023) Chemical looping reforming from methane to syngas: investigation on CeO2 oxygen carrier lifetime and optimal process times, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Ingegneria civile, chimica, ambientale e dei materiali, 35 Ciclo.
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Emissions of CO2 are constantly growing since the beginning of industrial era. Interruption of the production of major emitters sectors (energy and agriculture) is not a viable way and reducing all the emission through carbon capture and storage (CCS) is not economically viable and little publicly accepted, therefore, it becomes fundamentals to take actions like retrofitting already developed infrastructure employing cleanest resources, modify the actual processes limiting the emissions, and reduce the emissions already present through direct air capture. The present thesis will deeply discuss the aspects mentioned in regard to syngas and hydrogen production since they have a central role in the market of energy and chemicals. Among the strategies discussed, greater emphasis is given to the application of looping technologies and to direct air capture processes, as they have been the main point of this work. Particularly, chemical looping methane reforming to syngas was studied with Aspen Plus thermodynamic simulations, thermogravimetric analysis characterization (TGA) and testing in a fixed bed reactor. The process was studied cyclically exploiting the redox properties of a Ce-based oxide oxygen carrier synthetized with a simple forming procedure. The two steps of the looping cycles were studied isothermally at 900 °C and 950° C with a mixture of 10 %CH4 in N2 and of 3% O2 in N2, for carrier reduction and oxidation, respectively. During the stay abroad, in collaboration with the EHT of Zurich, a CO2 capture process in presence of amine solid sorbents was investigated, studying the difference in the performance achievable with the use of contactors of different geometry. The process was studied at two concentrations (382 ppm CO2 in N2 and 5.62% CO2 in N2) and at different flow rates, to understand the dynamics of the adsorption process and to define the mass transfer limiting step.


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