Fuel Processing Technology, Vol.172, 1-12, 2018
Chemical-looping technologies using circulating fluidized bed systems: Status of development
In chemical-looping combustion (CLC), an oxygen carrier provides lattice oxygen for complete combustion of a fuel for heat and power production. The reduced metal oxide is then oxidized in a separate reactor. The combustion products CO2 and H2O are obtained in pure form, without any nitrogen in the gas. As no gas separation work is needed, this could be a breakthrough technology for carbon capture (CCS). Normally, the fuel- and air-reactor are designed utilizing inter-connected fluidized beds. The same underlying reversible redox reactions of CLC can be used for other fuel conversion technologies. These include fluidized bed processes for gas, solid and liquid fuels for heat, power, syngas or hydrogen production. Some of these concepts were suggested as far back as the 1950's, while others have just recently been proposed. This paper will provide a review of some recent developments with respect to CLC with gaseous, liquid and solid fuels, with focus on operational experience. Today, more than 35 continuous units have been used worldwide, with over 9000 h of operational time. Although most experience has been reported for methane and natural gas, significant testing has now also been performed with various solid fuels. Some recent developments include i) shift from Ni-based materials to more benign metal oxide oxygen carriers, ii) use of different types of biomass and iii) operation at semi-commercial scale. Furthermore, this paper will also provide an overview some related technologies which also utilize oxygen carriers in interconnected fluidized beds: i) Chemical-looping gasification (CLG), ii) Chemical-looping reforming (CLR) and iii) Chemical-looping tar reforming (CLTR). In these processes, a pure syngas/hydrogen can be produced effectively, which could be utilized for chemical or fuel production.